...where the rain is measured in feet,
not inches

by Dinesh Desai

photo of cliffs and waterfall at Cherrapunjee, India

"I will run down the steps to the village and get some help. It will only take me a few minutes."

"Wait, Joel, let me just lie here for awhile and recover a little."

"You slipped on some jackfruit skin; it's extremely slippery," said Joel, pointing to the decaying fruit lying on the stone steps.

I looked at my left arm and saw that the bone in my fore-arm was broken about 6 inches above the wrist. Luckily, the skin was intact and I didn't feel much pain. Using my umbrella as a walking stick, I followed Joel and slowly made my way to the village near the river.

Paradise washed

Most people's idea of paradise is relaxing on a sunny tropical beach; mine is just the opposite. I recently went to one of the world's wettest places specifically to experience the heavy rains. The average yearly rainfall of 460 inches (1168 cm) puts Mt. Waialeale on the island of Kauai in Hawaii at the top of the list of the world's wettest places. A close second, at 450 inches (1143 cm) per year, is the town of Cherrapunjee, locally known as Cherra, in eastern India. The rainfall on Mt. Waialeale is spread over 12 months, while Cherra gets almost all of its rain in the six monsoon months of April thru September. And nobody lives on Mt. Waialeale, whereas 70,000 people call Cherra their home. For purists, I might mention that Mawsynram, just 10 miles west of Cherra, has recently earned the title of the world's wettest spot with an average annual rainfall of 467 inches.

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