The day began well, bright blue sky, hardly a cloud, but it was hot. I was sweating before breakfast. The heat built up during the day and the clouds piled higher. Darker clouds over the hills flashed with lightning and it became stiflingly humid. At 2pm the first spots of rain came down, erratic, intermittent, as though it were trying to rain, but couldn’t. Then a cool wind whipped up the dust and loose corrugated iron sheets started to flap. The thunder grew louder, the lightning flashed nearer, and the rain started to pelt onto the corrugated iron roof. The smell of fresh earth was delicious and distinctive – nothing else smells like new rain on parched earth. The rain intensified, just like a cloud bursting, and for 15 minutes we were deluged and deafened. A tree was hit by lightning just behind the clinic and a branch fell onto a roof but no one was hurt. We climbed into the van and drove through the sodden countryside, back to Mae Sot.