Thursday, January 19, 2012

A weather report from Ghana

The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the U.S. government or the Peace Corps.

It is usually difficult for an amateur to capture the brilliance of a sunrise or sunset. This was my amateur shot taken this morning, just past 6:30 AM as I am walking to school for my 7 o'clock class. It is unexpectedly cool and you can see the two school girls in uniform ahead of me have added a jacket. The farming region of Brong Ahafo is almost two months into the dry season with no rain expected until late March, early April. Most vegetation is brown and very dry, except the large trees. Many wild fires springing up. The picture captures a little bit of the conditions of this season as a consequence of a phenomenon in this part of the world, the Harmattan winds off the Sahara far to the north east. Although it may look like smoke or fog, the reduced visibility and covering of the rising sun is the dust and grit in the air that has come with the dry season winds and will last until the rains begin again. Some spectacular sunsets, but also dust and grit settling everywhere, causing me respiratory coughing during the night and some serious "ring around the collar" during the day. One of the interesting aspects is that the mornings are now comparatively cool. Not sure why, but it may have to do with less daylight as a result of the overcast sky. I sleep under two sheets with socks on and many of the Ghanians are in long sleeves, sweaters, and coats early in the morning, but by mid morning it is what I expect of a day near the equator in Africa. I am told it will get much warmer and in the northern regions easily top 115 degrees F.

School has begun again and the days and weeks are full and pass quickly. The "book" says I should be experiencing "over zealousness, homesickness, uncertainties about adapting, and intolerance of the host culture." So far so good in coping with those circumstances. Much of that I credit to you and your continuing interest in my new job and what I am doing with my time. My health is excellent and I am grateful for a supportive family and group of friends.

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