If hell is experiencing a winter with no central heating, then I guess I’m there.
It’s winter here and it’s not pretty.
It’s so cold that schools close during June and July because teaching and learning are impossible in frigid conditions. So cold that I have to put on about five layers to keep warm. So cold that all I can eat is soup and drink tea. So cold that sometimes, washing my ass with baby wipes only is sufficient enough by me (My standards for cleanliness have changed drastically since joining the Peace Corps.) So cold that I paint my nails way less than I do during warmer months.
Thankfully, I do have a heater that I light up at night, when temps can go below zero. And my big brother did send me a sleeping bag that keeps me pretty toasty.
Honestly, I shouldn't be complaining because I’m in the lowlands, the mini mountains. My fellow volunteers in the monstrous mountains are the ones who are really suffering. It snows and is much colder out in those parts of the country. Well, actually, it snowed in my district (a rare occurrence) in May and it freaked me out but I survived.
Ever the optimist, I have decided to find the warmth, good things, about this frigid winter. Read on:
-Dairy lasts longer: I eat way more dairy during winter months because my house will get so cold that it will act as a refrigerator. Pretty cool, eh? No? Lol.
-More reading: It’s too cold to do anything else but curl up with a book and get lost in it.
-Less bathing: OK, there was a volunteer who didn’t wash her ass for like, five months. That’s not me and that’s not what I’m advocating here. But during the wintertime, and especially when I’m not at school, I do get a little lax because it’s way too cold to care. I bath every 2-3 days, OK?! I do. No lie.
-Winter break: Lord knows I love the kiddies and all but it’s nice to have some time off, sleep in and spend my time doing whatever I want with it. Being a human being truly is underrated.
-Hibernation: I don’t visit many volunteers much during the winter. Too cold to be social and traveling and shit like that. I gladly turn in to Winnie the Pooh and keep my ass at home. Ya dig?
So yeah. Winter here is cold. Very cold.
They don’t call Lesotho the “Switzerland of Africa” for no reason.