Monday, April 24, 2006

Freaky weather

The sandstorm started as a brown smudge on an already gloomy sky. It appeared in the southeast at about 3:20 p.m. and covered the entire sky by 3:25 p.m.

A few weeks ago, I was in another sandstorm in Tallil. I watched it come in with almost supernatural speed, blocking out the moon and the stars. The howling of the wind was so loud that I had to yell to communicate the to guy I was playing chess with across the table at the MWR building. On my way back to my trailor, I saw the porto-johns that had been in a neat row thrown into a pile and covered with flies. The next day I saw more signs: some of the windows at the 16th CSG headquarters building, where my office was, had been broken, trees and street signs were uprooted and the southeast corner of every building was plastered with mud.

The one yesterday did not have quite the same intensity, but it was eerie in its own way. The strangest thing about it was the color of the sky--it was not brown, but a dull, glowing orange that reminded me of lava. It, too, had a phase where the wind was blowing so hard it shook my trailor, and for a while, knocked out the power. A few times I peeked out the crack of the door in curiousity and I could see debris blowing and feel the rain come down in heavy drops. The wind was blowing so strongly that I had to hang onto the doornob with both hands to keep the wind from yanking it out of control.

A few hours later, there was hardly any sign that a storm of any sort had occured, (except the tarp tied to a heavy beam, used to provide a shaded area between my trailor and the one adjacent to mine, had been knocked down.) There was even a beautiful sunset.

Strange country.

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