Term’s over, school’s out and soon we’ll be out of Africa.
Not for ever ….. but for a couple months whilst we return to the UK. Here is a short series on some of the things I’ll miss whilst we’re gone.
It rarely falls below 20°C here in Mwanza – and generally day-time temperatures hover between 25°C and 30°C – so I’m not looking forward to the ‘cold’ of the British Summer – let alone the rain.
I’m hoping for a heat wave back in Britain – otherwise it’s lots of sweaters and long sleeved tops – something I have hardly ever had to wear here.
We are now firmly in the Dry Season so not looking forward to the wet either.
One of the best things about living here is that most of the time you wake up to a fine sunny morning. Not 100% of the time to be true, but outside of December and April (the rains) it has been the case most of the year. What is more the weather, rains or not, tends to be hot in the day.
Today we are off to Papas a restaurant on the lake about an hour North of Mwanza. We’ve been once before, back in October in our pre-car days. Then we had to rely on lifts, now we have wheels. This is a delayed birthday treat for my 17 yr old – but I digress!
I found myself earlier this week thinking “what if the weather isn’t good?” a legacy of my British upbringing. I quickly corrected myself! As a NGO, who is returning soon to live in Canada, stated yesterday – it’s going to be strange having to check the weather forecast every morning to see what to wear.
Here it is usually dry and sunny, occasionslly (but predictably) wet, always warm. So today It’s a Fine Day.
As we reach the dog end of January – one thing is clear – the temperature is on the rise! Here in Mwanza the thermometer has risen from a pleasant 25-26°C to 30°-32°C which might not seem much but is making a difference. It is less cloudy too and a lot less rainy. Apparently it will continue until the Long Rains in March – April.
I do like the heat and appreciate it’s a lot hotter than those of you in the “cold north”, even so I was getting used to the mid-20s so I am wilting under the extra heat in long trousers day after day.
In honour of the new temperatures some of my Heat related iTunes – all on my iPod (honestly!)
Level 42 – Hot Water
Power Station – Some Like It Hot
Billy Idol – Hot In The City
The Cure – Hot! Hot! Hot!
Glen Frey – The Heat Is On
Style Council – Long Hot Summer
Katy Perry – Hot ‘n’ Cold
DJ Fresh ft Rita Ora – Hot Right Now
Arrow – Hot Hot Hot
I think I must be acclimatising. Tonight I’m in long sleeves and long trousers after a dull wet day in Mwanza. It feels cool although I’ve been in short sleeves all day. Looking at the weather forecast it is 25°C outside with a real feel of 24°C. In the UK I’d be in shorts for certain. I’d hate to think how I’d feel if I were back in the 9°C of Milton Keynes. It’s amazing how our bodies adapt!
This morning we had a lot of rain. We were woken by an enormous thunder clap and the rain fell in torrents for an hour or so.
The resultant rains left an aftermath on the roads and paths. The roads and paths here are mainly mud and sand so they turn into rivers washing away the surface and forming ridges.
For reference here is a walk to school in time before the rains.
A month to day it will be Christmas and in 5 weeks time the year will be done. Where has all the time gone? Continue reading
Whether we are in the rainy season is debatable. The weather here has not been following the usual patterns according to long term residents. We had some rain in September and heavy downpours in October which are out of the norm.
Now we are in November we have certainly seen more thunderstorms and with them some intense rain on some occasions. We have probably had thunder and lightning most days this week. Unlike the UK, where you get three hot days and a thunderstorm followed by cooler weather, here the heat remains. If anything this week it has got hotter – this may be the humidity at work. Between the daily storms it’s usually blue skies and sunshine. The storms are usually early morning or early evening and last up to an hour and no more. As for the heat some say this is the precursor to the true rainy season. Whether climate change is at work and we get a true rainy season remains to be seen.
It’s possibly the start of the rainy season now – not that we’ve had much rain yet – though we have had some big downpours. However, yesterday was cloudless blue and very hot. For a newbie from the UK it’s a bit strange. Life here seems to my cold Northern brain to be a permanent summer. Even the rain we’ve had is more reminiscent of a summer storm than a winter deluge. Day after day the temperatures range from a daytime low of 25°C to 32°C – yesterday might have been hotter.
To be in October and enjoying such temperatures is strange. In my last school we close the ICT rooms when it got to 30°C – here I’d never teach if we followed that directive.
Of course we’re in the Southern Hemisphere (only just at 2.5°S!) and so we are technically moving into the hotter time of the year – though I don’t think there’s much difference.
What is clear is that the birds are starting to nest; gathering twigs, grasses etc and starting to display a little. In that sense it is Spring, which makes sense. I suppose this activity must be a response to the rains to come. Personally I’d be pleased if the rains held off a little until Half Term when we’re planning a short break away – details to follow 🙂
T + 19
After a gentle introduction to Mwanza during the first couple of weeks. The temperatures are on the rise. We have had a hot and sunny week. The temperatures hitting a high of 30°C and not dropping below 20°C.
Working in a hot ICT suite is challenging and there is definitely no air com here. It remains to be seen how hot it will get, but the heat is on!
T Minus 71
…….. into the Fire! The temperature in my car just now is 28°C Coincidentally this the average daily temperature in Mwanza for the next week is 28°C.
So in a sense weather wise we are experiencing Tanzanian Temperatures at the moment. It’s been a fabulous weather day here, hot, dry and sunny is exactly how I like it. The weather in Mwanza will be hot and sunny, though not always dry. A further thing to note though is that it gets a little hotter (31°C ) and a lot more humid, although it’s currently the dry season the temperature is similar in the rainy season too!
Adjusting to the weather is one of the many acclimatisation a we will need to make, but today’s weather is a taste of Tropical Tanzania.
T Minus 79
Yet again it’s raining. It seems like Britain’s rainy season is virtually non- stop. So on that matter it will be a relief to escape these shores in August.
Tanzania will have it’s rain, I know, but maybe a little more predictably so.
I suppose the rain is what gives us our verdant landscape but for me the grass will be greener overseas.
I have said before I will miss our garden and another of my favourite plants the poppy.
This now resides in the front garden, though many years ago, before the decking we had some in the back garden.
I love the large papery red petals surrounding the black centre, and the hairy green buds before opening.
The last of these photos is a cheat as I took this last week in Cornwall at Lanhydrock, but the rest were taken last night in the dry – it’s far too wet out there now 😦
Posted in MK, plants, Tanzanian living, UK Living
Tagged colour, garden, MK, papaver, poppy, rain, red, UK, weather, wet
T Minus 96
It’s been a lovely weekend. Warm and sunny weather today and yesterday – a real tonic. We had a fab barbecue last night with some new friends and other new friends round this afternoon. It’s nice to live outdoors and enjoy our decking area. We’re planning to use the barbecue again this evening – just because we can.
I think the British weather is at it’s best in May. I always imagine that it will herald a fabulous Summer.
Unfortunately, in recent years at least, a fabulous May has been followed by a disappointing June damp July and doggy August.
Obviously it will be our last UK Summer for a while, and even though we are moving to warmer climes, I really hope that this weather will persist. After the wet and windy Winter Months I just hope this May Day will result in a meteorological miracle and lead to a great Summer.
Where we are going the weather will be hot and dry through until some time in October/November when the rains begin.
There are two rainy seasons in Mwanza from November to December and again from February to April. Having said that the UK has had one long rainy season in recent years!
T Minus 99
It’s probably safe to say that we’re not going to get any snow!
Today has been a lovely day. I grabbed some photos of the Wisteria and Ceonothus close up this morning before work. I will miss this annual combo.
The forecast for the week ahead courtesy of Accuweather is predicting warmer temperatures over the next week – so Spring is firmly entrenched.
We never really had a winter. Not a single snowflake fell in this part of the world – let alone settled on the ground. I can’t remember the last time that happened. I love the first snow of winter – even though it becomes tiresome after a few days as it turns to slush and / or black ice. It’s quite nice to have the odd Snow Day too ;-).
This year winter was having none of it. True we had some frosts but I can count on one hand the number of days I had to scrape the ice off the car. In the end we had months and months of rain with some high winds on occasions.
Given this will have been our last UK winter for a few years it was a little disappointing. Other than the top of Kilimanjaro, I imagine I won’t see snow for a few years :-(. So the last Snow as in April 2013.
Having said that – now I’ll probably wake up to 6 inches of the white stuff in June – stranger things have happened. 😀
The photos below were taken between 2010 and 2013.
Posted in MK, Normality, UK Living
Tagged Ceonothus, flood, frost, Kilimanjaro, MK, rain, snow, Spring, UK, weather, wind, winter, Wisteria