Saturday, 31 October 2015

Zambian Weather Watch

Many people from home have asked me what the weather is like here in Zambia. There are three seasons here; the wet season from December to April, the cold season from May to August, and the hot season from September to November. Now that I've experienced all three seasons, I feel I can tell you a bit more accurately what it's like.

The sun shines all year round

The general height of the land gives Zambia a more pleasant climate than most tropical countries. My favourite thing about the weather is that it's sunny here every day. I absolutely love the sunshine and also the beautiful sunsets that can be seen each evening.

Colourful sunsets

The wet season

The wet season is really important here, because as a country agriculture is so significant. Little or late rain leads to poor harvests and many people going hungry. Apart from the increase in mosquitoes, I quite enjoyed the rainy season. The days are warm and then in the afternoon, frequent heavy rain showers help to cool things down. However, when it rains here, it really pours! There's no such thing as drizzle.

When it rains, it pours!

It's still warm enough to wear flip flops in the rain in January!

The rain even came down the chimney!

Whilst those of us from the UK are rather used to being out in the rain, it seems that some Zambians are not as keen. I often see lots of people crowded under a shelter waiting for a long time while the rain subsides. However, I suppose this is because of the intensity of the rain and the fact that few people in the surrounding communities own raincoats or umbrellas.

The cold season

The cold season in Zambia is different to what we would describe as cold at home! The mornings and the evenings do get pretty chilly but it's more because the buildings aren't insulated like they are in the UK. I continued wearing flip flops throughout the cold season but was also told that this year didn't get as cold as previous years. I found it quite funny to see some of the Bible College students wearing gloves despite the fact that on most days it had usually warmed up to about 20 degrees by midday.

The cold season does require a jumper in the evening!

The hot season

Now we are approaching November, we are well into the hot season. It has certainly begun to get more sweaty! It would be more enjoyable if we didn't have as many power cuts so we could shower and use fans at any time of the day or night, or if we had air conditioning in our car. But I am surviving! The swimming pool at the compound we live in is wonderful and helps me to feel like I'm on holiday sometimes. The temperature is usually in the late 30s, although the heat is not particularly humid so it is more bearable than in some other countries I've been to. I'm amazed how even though it's so hot and dry here, the grass still grows and leaves still appear on the trees.

Checking out the view on a sunny day...

Another great thing about the consistent sunshine is that it means we spend more time outside. There is hardly ever a day of 'wet play' at school! Events can also be planned to run outside, like the annual Bible College graduation ceremony and a cinema evening we had with friends in the garden.

Playing outside in the sunshine at school

2015 Graduation Ceremony at KBUC
It is a bit strange not enduring all the changes in the seasons that we have at home, although I am pretty happy being in what feels like permanent sunshine.  I think it's going to be quite a shock to return to the UK in December for winter!

There's always a need for ice cream...
...and sunglasses!

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