Monday, June 6, 2016

Two Years, All Seasons in Malawi

Having experienced two complete cycles of the seasons in Malawi, I'm ready to make a comparison between them.

Hot Season
Pros - laundry dries quickly, less bugs, house smells better (no musty smell), don't have to pee as much so less time in the chim, mangos at the end of the season, floor and dishes dry quickly, cleaner walk to school (no mud), vegetables are cheap and plentiful, bananas too, lots of daylight, easy to solar charge when the power goes out

Cons - it's ridiculously hot, I get very thirsty so I have to fill up my water filter a lot more, too hot to boil water or make porridge or drink tea, long sweaty nights so it is difficult to sleep, wind is very loud this time of year which is also difficult to sleep through, need to water garden everyday, so much sun

Rainy Season

Pros - very green and pretty everywhere, pineapples are cheap and plentiful, showers on tin roof sound nice, more frogs and toads and butterflies and flowers, can collect rainwater for cooking and bathing and drinking, thunder and lightning are pretty exciting, cool spiders (or is that a con?)

Cons - vegetables are expensive and mould quicker, water shortages (since mud blocks the pipes upstream), higher risk of cholera, hot and muggy when not raining so it can be difficult to sleep, mosquitos and biting bugs aplenty, cockroaches get up earlier and stay out later, risk of snakes in the grass, flood/storm damage, more power outages, house smells musty, everything takes forever to dry, muddy feet walking to school, mud everywhere, rain on tin roof at school makes it impossible to teach (or is that a pro?), rain on tin roof sounds incredibly loud and makes it impossible to do anything indoors, slipping in the mud as I go outside to use the chim, using chim with an umbrella, leaking roof, condensation with heat so roof drips on me while I sleep, pretty much impossible to solar charge when the power goes out

Cold Season
Pros - I get to wear layers and drink tea and eat porridge and the warmth is wonderful, I sleep really well all bundled up in my layers and blankets and sleeping bag, less wildlife and bug activity this time of year, cool season crops like onions and kale do well in my garden, sweet potatoes are in season, lots of time to read, the sky is often overcast and looks really pretty, nandolo (pigeon peas) are blooming and in season

Cons - it's dark about 12 hours every night, so I have less time to lesson plan and do chores, lots of colds and coughs this time of year, laundry and dishes take longer to dry, more difficult to solar charge when the power goes out, hard to get out of bed in the morning to go to school because it is so cold and dark

The Verdict
After two years, I can definitely say my favorite season is Cold Season. Except for early in the mornings, it is really more Cool than Cold, so it is the perfect weather. And I love wearing layers and drinking tea and having an excuse to go to bed early and read. As an Education Volunteer I get to experience three Cold Seasons during my service since we arrive in June, so I feel very blessed for that.

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