This is the season of dust. Lapli pa tombe, people tell me, looking at crisp-burned heads of millet drooping on tall yellow stalks: “the rain doesn’t fall.” Between November and April, a fine, silky dust comes to cover everything, turning the landscape of pale greens and yellows a monotone khaki. In 2015, there was even less rain than usual, with a mostly dry October and November. It won’t rain in earnest again until April – three months from now. When it rains, the water will rush over the hard-packed earth below, swirling the dust into a squelching grey mud that sucks sandals into the deep rivulets between the road’s rocks, cementing them there like plastic headstones. In the dry season, though, walkers urgently cover their faces as the occasional SUV tears down the road, leaving them in a cloud of dust so thick that wandering goats are invisible at 30 paces. I feel the memory of water press up against my sneaker soles, as I navigate the ridged road.