Saturday, July 7, 2012

Temperature Swings

Spencer and I have lived around the US. We have experienced 7 foot snows in Buffalo and 2 foot snows in DC. We have lived on lakes, swamps, and in the rolling hills of Kansas. Never before have we lived anywhere that had such dramatic daily temperature swings.

The mornings start frosty. Not too terribly cold, but a couple of degrees below freezing. The mornings are usually clear, warming to the mid 60's. Then sometime around 1 or 2 the wind picks up and the clouds roll in. The temperature drops with the sun. The clouds clear during the night, releasing all of the stored solar heat into the atmosphere and come morning, frost and clear skies again.

The forty degree change in temperature makes it difficult to dress. Layers are a must. I have even worn long underwear on a hike, only to find that I am dying from too much heat 2 hours in.

The houses are not insulated. Heat escapes everywhere and the wind blows in everywhere. Today at lunch I could see my breath in the kitchen. If i had walked outside, I would have been warmer. The cinderblock construction holds the chill and does not heat well.

We have often been asked by the Basotho if we have ever lived anywhere this cold. Of course the answer is that we have lived in places far colder. But the environment is unique and due to the dramatic daily swing, it is difficult for the body to adjust to cold nights.

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