While all of you back in the States will be enjoying the longest day of the year later next week, here in Kitete it will be the winter solstice. It is one of the stranger aspects of living in the Southern Hemisphere.
I must confess, of course, that it is not exactly the most daunting winter solstice. Being only about a hundred miles from the equator changes things a bit. Winter here is light years from the frigid temperatures of South Bend, although it is colder than you probably think.
Because we are up in the mountains most mornings there is a thick fog over the whole area and a temperature just below 60°F. By the afternoon the sun typically breaks through the clouds and the high temperature is normally around 70°F.
That’s hardly winter weather by our standards, but the locals here think otherwise. They think it is absolutely freezing. Most of them get all bundled up in winter coats and knit caps. It’s pretty funny to see. A simple sweatshirt in the evenings is good enough for hearty Americans like us.
Tanzanian Fun Fact: The people here don’t have arm or leg hair, absolutely none! They are so intrigued by my hairy legs and arms, and often feel free to touch it. I assume it is an evolutionary difference between living in a temperate versus tropical climate, but that’s just a guess.