Even though I often didn't see my father for months at a time, I know he loved me as much as I love you, Son, and as he once said to me, 'I may not be the best father, but I will always send my prayers when you need them the most,' and that is what I intend to do for you. Remember this, even if you don't see me for a while and want to hate me, I love you.
The desert is a curse from the Water God upon the wicked people who live in the South.
Said people offended the Water God in some way, and so the Water God placed water-trappers, bizarre, water-sucking beings, in the soil, and within years, the wilderness became a desert.
Thus, the desert folk shamans have special powers that allow them to find water-trappers so that they can be dug up and their water harvested.