Winter Time in Ghana?

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Africa » Ghana
January 7th 2008
Published: January 7th 2008EDIT THIS ENTRY

Harmattan SunriseHarmattan SunriseHarmattan Sunrise

The Harmattan sun at 7am
It would come as no surprise to you if I said, we have a rather Short winter season here in Ghana. In our minds the word alone conjures up images of snow, ice and a lot of cold air. According to Webster winter is simply, “the coldest season of the year”. Ghana will soon enter the hottest time of year. But this is always preceded by a period of very dry, dusty days and cold nights. It’s called “The Harmattan”.

The Harmattan is a dry and dusty W. African trade wind. At this time of year it blows south from the Sahara into the Gulf of Guinea. On its passage over the desert it picks up fine dust particles. It looks like fog, but it’s actually dust. When the Harmattan blows hard, it can push dust and sand all the way to South America!!

The sun is hazed over with a blanket of dust. The brutally dry, dusty, days, can still reach a temperature of 90deg. At sunrise this dust filled atmosphere creates a beautifully pink colored sun ball. It is easy for the naked eye to comfortably look directly at the sun even when it is far above
It's not fog!It's not fog!It's not fog!

It's not fog! This is the daytime dust. Trying to keep a clean house in this is impossible!!
the horizon.

The nights bring a drastic contrast to the dry, dusty, hot days. As the heavy dew begins to settle around 5:30pm you can feel the temps drop. During the night they plummet to the low 60’s. By morning dew is heavy enough to drip off of the roof. The heavy dew mixed with temps in the low 60’s makes for a frigid morning. Conditions cold enough to make our breath visible!

Praise sleeps with two pair of PJ’s (with long sleeves and legs) socks and two covers. At times he crawls into our bed during the night with with cold little ears complaining, “Auntie, I’m cold”. I can sleep with 3 shirts, two pair of trousers and socks. This year I cover up with a heavy sheet and a wonderful little red blanket Annie left behind last year. THANKS ANNIE! Kirk still holds onto some of his North Dakota blood. He might add a t-shirt and extra sheet to his normal pair of shorts.

I wish I had more pictures to show the dust. For the past year my camera has been quite temperamental. At times it simply refuses to switch on for no apparent
Christine's Harmattan PJsChristine's Harmattan PJsChristine's Harmattan PJs

You might think I’m joking! Annie, if you’re reading this help me out here and tell them it’s true. What did you wear last year?
reason. ?? Maybe I will get more pictures in the days to come. ??

Have a Great week! Christine & Co

HELP WANTED: Here is an opportunity for someone to help us in a practical and slightly financial way. We are looking for a "Forwarding Agent". In this day and age it's becoming increasingly difficult for us to buy items on-line and have them mailed directly to us in Ghana. Qualifications for this position: 1) Someone with a stable mailing address. 2) Can easily receive UPS packages. 3) Able to pay postage and forward the package to us in Ghana. Generally 1-2 pkgs per month with postage of aprox. $10ea. 4) Lastly and most importantly, someone reliable in action not only good intentions. If you are interested in this position please send me a "Message" at the bottom of the blog. Your message will go to my email box and will NOT be posted publicly. Thank You and God Bless.


10th January 2008

Christine!! Don't be such a wimp!! Your a Michigander, for crying out loud!! :) Although, sound like our temps any yours have been pretty close for the last several days. We should have snow again by Sat. or Sun. Try to stay warm and dust free!! :P
11th January 2008

i was totally unprepared for the harmattan. when i was packing my mom told me i had to pack a pair of jeans. i didn't think i needed them but i was so glad i did. at night i would ware my pj pants under my jeans. i would layer my shirts and with a sweatshirt and a jacket. it was so cold.
14th January 2008

Michigander ...?? hmm
I know, I know. I use to run thru the snow barefoot! The thought of doing that now just about stops my heart! I left MI in 1991 and as the years pass "my blood" is going thru some transformations. 80deg is now the PERFECT temperature! :)

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