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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Red sky at night....

I looked out at the darkening sky yesterday and saw the dying embers of the sun lighting the clouds in a glorious blush of colour. Then as the sun dipped below the horizon, the reddish glow seemed to backlight the sky in a final flood of red sky.

It brought back a memory of a dry dusty village and another red sky.
Today, I saw a picture on Flickr of a similar looking dusty village, although this one was in Laos.
It reminded me of a time in Kongwa, Tanzania a few years ago.
There are many parts of Tanzania, where the soil is also very dry and dusty.
Especially in the dry season, where the sandstorms whip the soil up and carry it for miles.
The earth around Kongwa is also very red, unlike the soil in Laos.

Then I remembered this time in Kongwa...
One day we could suddenly feel the hot dusty wind gusting around us, followed by a rapidly aproaching cloud of red dust, which seemed to quickly envelop the village we were visiting.
Soon we were completely surrounded on all sides and overhead by this hot, dry, red, stinging sand. We were in the middle of a fierce sandstorm.
At this point there is nothing to do, except take cover with clothing over mouth and eyes to try and keep out the sand.
A large sandstorm is a bit like a dry hurricane, including the eye of the storm where the sand diminishes, showing the clear blue sky above, as the epicentre reaches your position.
Then the stinging sand starts all over again as the trailing edge of the vortex sweeps across the village, before moving on across the plain.

The sand really does get everywhere! The redness seeming as if the sky was bleeding.
The only remedy is a quick shower back at the house to flush out all the sand.
At which point, the water runs red too.
That's the memory, ...bleeding sky ...red shower water.

Very graphic.

Could almost feel the sand scarfing my face...
Very evocative post, Luke. I like the image of the bleeding skies of Africa. Cool. You're dead lucky to have been.
Thanks,Mr. D. and to Sam from USA (originally UK Western Isles) for dropping by.
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