The grannies sit outside in a circle, doing their thing. The ropes get longer and longer as they work, a babble of voices accompanying the work. As we approach, they wave their greetings, inviting us to join them on the side of the tin building which provides them with shelter from the sun. I pass hugs and kisses all around, instantly happy to see them. My heart feels good here and after a day of meetings and planning, it is good to be outside amongst these Luo speakers. Rain is imminent, with the sky a petroleum grey behind us, rapidly overpowering the bright sunlight. Time is short, so we keep things brief by calling Mama Mary, the leader of this small group of grannies, to join us. With hands on her shoulders, I ask Mama if she is ok receiving a higher price for each rope sold. She eagerly says she is and she blesses Kathy and me, grabbing each of us in turn and hugging us tightly. As she turns to announce the doubling of their salary to the other grannies, shouts of excitement break out from all, along with clapping, waving of hands in the air, and that amazing sound called ululation. Smiles beam brighter than the sun which is now hidden and just like that, we go from celebration to movement. With no time to talk further, we hurriedly move chairs into the shed, scoop sisal fiber and ropes from the ground and together, shove them into the shed as the old women move inside to wait out the impending storm.
I start out walking back to the guesthouse and as the rain comes closer, I feel it creeping, creeping behind me. I pick up my speed and while I don’t feel the raindrops on my head yet, I hear them approaching and I know it is going to be a doozy, so I break out running towards home. I almost make it, but the storm wins and I am left soaking but jubilant…happy with the passing on of good news and equally happy that the earth has once again been watered. The clothes I washed this morning are dry, so I trade them out for my newly wet ones, toweling off my hair and shooing the chicken off my bed one more time.