We're about a month into winter now, the shortest day of the year just passed us, and it's a tid bit...chilly. We're in the mountains and it is gorgeous but man is it brisk! Of course, it's not cold and we are in no way in danger of a frost, however, we wear long sleeves and blankets during the day. We've been measuring the temperature with a meat thermometer left by the previous volunteers and during the day it is mid to upper 60's and at night it has been low 60's upper 50's....and it will only get colder.
This wouldn't be so bad if the wind didn't feel like it would blow the roof off and better for me if trousers were more acceptable. We are situated right in a beautiful valley, however, the wind gets caught in the valley and rips through everything. At times it can be quite miserable. For women, it is culturally more acceptable to wear skirts which is kind of a bummer when it's 57 and windy.
Every detail here seems to have some sort of cultural implication. There is no climate control, no window panes, no insulation, and no indoor fireplace...even the kitchen is outside. So, at night it gets cold. Many families have limited resources and this can include having few warm clothes and blankets. What this implies and what most seasonal calendars show is that in about 9 months the birth rate will be much higher than it is now!
Recognizing this trend can help curb the birth rate by introducing heavier family planning education. However, mostly it shows that most of the things/issues/challenges we will encounter here have a deeper root. These challenges and ways of life did not just appear one day. They have come from somewhere else. In reality, our biggest challenge will be discovering the cultural implications that lie beneath the surface. In the long run this will help our impact last much, much longer.