We were warned that there was big weather coming - that is not entirely unusual in Zomba - after all, Zomba is infamous for it's wet weather and chiperoni, the mist that clings to the mountain, - or Pepperoni has a friend of ours calls it. It is not unusual for it to rain - it is the rainy season after all! But when it rains, and rains, and rains, and then rains some more, it is less normal. Cyclone Idai was at work in the south of Malawi with the Shire valley and the areas round Thyolo and Mulanje being the worse hit.
At Zomba Forest Lodge, we got 340+mm in just over 3 days which sounds like a lot. Blantyre got over 500mm and Thyolo got 700mm!! I am not sure how much the Shire Valley received but it was enough to wash away roads, parts of bridges and flood vast swathes of land. More importantly Idai casued untold devastation with hundreds of thousands of homes that have either totally or partially collapsed, latrines that have caved in and thousands of people with no access to clean water.
This sounds bad enough.
But then Idai turned around, went back to see, gathered some umph and off she went, back in land leaving a trail of destruction wherever she was. Beira and more than 500,000 people are stranded in the floods, and on Idai went, into Zimbabwe where she caused more destruction and hardship.
The people affected are already some of the poorest in the world and now they have even less. They have lost family, friends, homes and their meager possessions and now they are facing hunger and disease.
Please spare a thought to those who have lost so much and reconsider the times you have been annoyed by the internet not working, or frustrated at the time it took in the bank. Some of us may not think so, but we have it pretty easy compared to many.