I love the rain. I love the change it brings to Sydney.
I love how it matches my mood when I am sad. I love how it makes me smile when I am happy.
I dream of puddles I can jump in. Rivers I can kayak. (Or, at least, rivers my friends can kayak)
I actually stopped hanging my clothes out to dry because it made me stress out whenever it rained.
And who wants to stress out over the rain?
It’s the rainy season in the Philippines.
And I’m working with our microfinance partner following around their loan officers on their weekly meetings. Groups of 10 – 20 women meet each week to access basic banking services. And a loan officer visits three of these each day.
We wait for the torrential rain to stop so we can travel to the next centre. We are late, the women are waiting.
One women is soaked. She had to cross a river to get to the meeting. Another is ashamed to let me use her bathroom because the floor is soaked in mud from the rain. Some of their businesses have failed – the rain destroys the vegetables that they grow to sell and they cannot grow rice.
The noise from the rain hitting the tin roof is deafening – we have to wait for it stop to be able to speak. It is impossible to keep the rain out, everything gets wet. “This is our life” they say.
And I think of Sold by Patricia McCormick and how it would be for those that don’t have a tin roof in this rain. And actually, I see them. As we move, from centre to centre.
These women – they keep telling me I must be so brave – to travel around all on my own.
I don’t say anything.
I think about the size of their loans compared to their income. I think about how I’ve never had to take out a loan in my life.
I think about how they must cross a river without a bridge to access savings facilities and insurance. I think about how I do that at home, in bed, on the net, while eating pancakes.
I think about them desperately trying to keep the rain out. And the warm shower and dry bathroom that will be waiting for me at the end of the day.
And all I can think is that these women are some of the bravest people I know.