Most people think of extreme heat when they think of Africa. They would be partly right. There are many places with extreme heat. But there are also places with plenty of cold. Did you know there is a nation in Southern Africa with a snow ski resort? Yep, Lesotho is a small country near the bottom of that continent that actually gets quite a bit of snow.
Swaziland doesn't get snow, but it does get cold. The temperatures drop in the winter time (which is actually the same time as summer in America) but they also drop in the summer. Swaziland is mountainous and has a high elevation. When it rains in the summer, it might have been piping hot on one day but that wet weather can make the daytime temps dip way down and the nighttime temps even further down. My mama says that the coldest night she ever spent in her life was her first night in Swaziland.
The houses are made to be nice and cool in the summer heat. What that also means is that the houses are extra cold in the winter time. With mostly tile floors, concrete walls, metal roofs, and no central heat, winters and wet summer days can be spent huddled around fireplaces and space heaters while wearing thick socks, boots, sweaters, turtlenecks, and even long johns. Bedtime means lots of blankets and warm pjs.
Last week, my mom and I helped the kids inventory their clothes and shoes. We found that they'd outgrown many of their winter clothes from last year and had some gaps that needed filling. With all the rain that Swaziland gets and the accompanying cold temperatures, boots, raingear, sweat suits, and footie pajamas are in order. The girls and I will also have to wear a lot more dresses and skirts than we wear now. And with cold temperatures in our future, we need warmer girlie things, too.
We went to Target today and bought the majority of the needed items. The kids had fun trying on crazy hats and footie jammies. I had fun watching them. We also checked off yet a few more of our "things to do before we move to Africa" items.