Tuesday, 4 December 2012

A Nepali Winter

Wrapped up warm
So this week the cold has really set in. I shouldn't really complain, it is the end of November after all. Nepali winters are very different to English ones - and in many ways a lot better, just the lack of heating makes me forget that!

This year it started to get cold quite early, during the last couple of weeks in October. Normally the temperatures don't drop until mid November. This meant that instead of the normal two week transition from t-shirts to 3 layers (minimum) we had a whole month which was quite nice, a month of cooler weather but not too cold.

So conversation with other Mums this week quickly turned to how to keep children warm on these cold nights. To use a heater or not? Gas or electric? How many layers of clothes and blankets? Hot water bottles? Hats, gloves? This is now our 5th winter here (if you count our first when we arrived half way through, in January 2008) and so we have our tried and tested methods for keeping everyone warm - the kids both wear tights under his PJs, blankets over the side of Mim's cot to give a little extra insulation and blankets underneath us all as well as over us to name a few.

The good things about winters here though are that most days we have clear blue skys with amazing views of the Himalayas. In the sun it is quite warm so we spend some time each day on our flat roof warming ourselves in the sun and enjoying the views. The winter here is also short; so just as you are all wrapping up for another cold month we will be putting our jumpers and thermals away by the end of February. We certainly don't miss the cold grey days of an English winter.

However, all this beautiful sunny weather means it is the dry season and that there will be no significant rain until next monsoon (July) and since all electricity production here is hydroelectirc we are very short on power. We currently have 8  hours of power cuts a day. This is not good so early on in the year, so we worry what the next few months hold power wise. Hopefully it means they are being careful and making sure there is enough power to last us through. The snow melt in Spring should help, but there won't be much relief for some time!

Christmas in Nepal

Obviously the biggest event of the winter for most of us is Christmas. Christmas here is also very different from the UK. Yesterday being December 1st we decided to put up our decorations, but apart from a couple of the big tourist shops we haven't seen anything for Christmas here at all (mostly because people here don't celebrate Christmas). It is nice though to be somewhere without all the hype, all the TV adverts and songs for months on end. We were able to put on our Christmas music without thinking "not this song again." But the nicest thing of all was that we can talk to Sam (and Mim as she gets older) about what we are celebrating at Christmas without all the distractions of new toys and everything else. Sam is enjoying opening his advent calendar each day and hearing the stories from the first Christmas.

So as we begin this Nepali winter and our Christmas season we wanted to wish you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas. 

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