An Earl Grey morning

In the Bible it rained 40 days. They called it a disaster.
In England we call it ‘Summer’. 

Oh, it’s pouring rain. Hey, the rain stopped, and it’s sunny. Oh wait, it’s raining again. That’s right. I am in England.

It’s been two weeks since I arrived back in England. The memories of blaring sun and dusty laterite roads of rural Rwanda are slowly fading back as I am braving the pouring rain without an umbrella (I misread the weather, again). I got soaked, but I felt refreshed and awakened to the fact that the fieldwork chapter is over (although I still feel much attached to and often reminisce about), and now I must move onto the next chapter, that is, desktop research. But the turn seems quite sharp. It’s August, and the university is extra quiet – there is hardly anyone at the PhD office too. From the intensive fieldwork’s day-to-day lifestyle to a large (empty) campus where I find more seagulls than people, I feel nostalgic. So the rain helps, it reminds me exactly where I am and it prompts me to accept both the rainy and sunny days. I might as well enjoy the Summer. Rain or shine this is it, it’s all I’ve got to enjoy in England. I also look forward to studying more in-depth the data and the life story interviews with the farmers. It will be amazing to see the details of the conversations coming back to life, revealing the minute details that I may have overlooked or slipped out of my radar in the heat of the fieldwork. Arriving in the office, I change into dry clothes, hang up my drenched shorts and sandals on the bookshelf, and I happily make myself a cup of tea (and everything feels a bit more warm and brighter). A quintessential English remedy!

Published by Sung Kyu Kim

Sung Kyu is a research fellow at the Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex

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