I have always loved the smell of fall in Michigan. And the scent of spring after a long and cold winter is a gift. So, I’ve sort of known that seasons have their own smell, but I didn’t realize how distinctive they can be.
Yaoundé has two seasons: dry and rainy, which some might choose to label as the dusty or muddy seasons instead. At the end of the rainy season someone mentioned that although dry season was coming soon, it wasn’t here yet. They could tell by the smell. It didn’t smell like dry season, so it hadn’t yet arrived. I was surprised that the smell of the season would be so distinct and suddenly change the season, but just a few days later, I understood.
We are now in dry season and there is dust everywhere. Harmattan is what I kept hearing people refer to, and the haze of dust that fills the air and settles on everything is here with it’s very distinct taste and aroma. I’m not exactly sure how to describe it other than dry with a bit dustiness. Those who have experienced this season before think of the smell as familiar, but for me it’s new and distinct.
I don’t know which season I prefer yet. There are nice things about the dry season, like how quickly clothes dry in the sun and the various flora and fauna that appear at this time of year. As for which season creates more mess from the boys playing outside in it, there is no clear winner here either. I honestly don’t think it matters; our kids can get exceptionally dirty in any and every season. And, they can track their mess into the house anytime of year!