“Sup with the sudden harmattan weather anyway? Making my beard feel like those iron sponges.”

The morning is lovely, but the day will be hot. It is already 78˚. I expect to have the AC cranking so the house will be nice and cold when I get home from errands.

The weather in Bolgatanga, Ghana was extreme. It was divided into the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season was hot and oppressively humid. The dry season was sweltering. Strangely enough, though, it actually got chilly in early December, down to the 70’s at night from around 100˚ during the day. I needed a blanket for my bed. The worst of the dry season, the harmattan, began after Christmas. The Harmattan is a dry, dusty wind that blows from the Sahara desert. It hangs around for a couple of months and envelops everything in a cloud of dust. The sand covers the sun. I remember chapped lips and split heels on both feet. The Sahara sand, looking like a large brown cloud, has been blown here. It is the Harmattan.

Halleluia!! I have a list. I needed a list to get me moving. This morning I used the back of my t-shirt to dust shelves in the kitchen while the coffee was brewing. I haven’t done that in a while. Most of my list is for outside, for the deck and garden. I never did my errands yesterday; instead, I stayed home and did stuff around the house and on the deck. The errands are first on my today’s list.

When I was a kid, my father was in charge of outside while my mother ruled inside. The outside was easy: cut the grass and water the flowers in summer and shovel the steps and free the car in winter. My mother cleaned, cooked, washed clothes and took care of us. She was always busy. She was the one who had to discipline us. When we got older, she threw things at us. I remember the dictionary whizzed by my head and hit the wall. Next were her slippers. She’d throw them at us and tell us to bring them to her. We knew better. The slippers weren’t just projectiles. She wanted to whack us with them. She seldom caught us.

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9 Comments on ““Sup with the sudden harmattan weather anyway? Making my beard feel like those iron sponges.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    Shoved out of the way by Mrs MDH.

    Our Granddaughter arrived today afternoon being driven across America. Foolishly I did not stand back when my son opened the door of the car and I was promptly tackled from behind by an over zealous Grannies who pushed me aside.

    They are tired, the baby is cranky and the house is filled with sound that isn’t Bob Dylan or Steve Earle or Grimes. It’s the sound of the next generation and brings joy

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Gwen is beautiful. I saw her picture on Facebook. I’m glad Mrs. MDH let you get close enough to take that picture.

      Enjoy your new Princess!

  2. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    A huge cloud of dust from the Sahara desert has crossed the ocean and has entered Texas. The high altitude dust gives us pretty sunsets and scratchy eyes. The climate you described in Ghana is typical of the tropics. A wet season and a dry season with heat daily. We get dry hot weather usually after 4th of July until Labor Day.

    Today is partly cloudy 90° with humidity. Tomorrow rain is in the forecast.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      That cloud of sand is exactly what the Harmattan in Ghana looks like. The wind off the Sahara dries everything. My first year was the worse because I hadn’t known what too expect. Every surface in my house was covered in sand.

      I know the weather in the tropics well. I lived there for over two years, but the weather in Bolga is not typical of the tropical weather in the rest of Ghana. The dry season in Bolga is the hottest and the longest. The rainy season starts in May with magnificent storms and thunder and lightning. The rain usually stops in September, late September is the hope.

      Each time I went back to Ghana, it was the rainy season. I went then on purpose.

  3. im6 Says:

    Your “house” in Bolga looks absolutely nothing like I’d imagined!

    • katry Says:

      Teachers in upper schools all live in houses provided by those schools. That duplex had just been built so I was the first occupant. The shower and toilet are outside in the backyard. The only faucet is there too. I felt beyond lucky to have running water and electricity.

  4. olof1 Says:

    Yesterday we almost got rain and thunder but just almost and it stayed hot and nasty. The morning today was almost cool but the heat returned and once again we almost got rain and y´thunder but it did actually cool down a little when the thunder passed on the other side of the bog. I do hope it cools down by tomorrow but they have been wrong so far in their forecasts so why would they be right this time 🙂 🙂

    It does happen that the Saharan sand blows up to us as well, normally early in January. It comes down with the snow or rain and they call that rain for blood rain, that sand can be truly red when wet 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      We had no rain today even though it was predicted. It is also predicted for the next few days so I hope the prediction is correct. It is still dry around here. Today stayed hot so I kept the air on the whole day. It was pleasant here in the house.

      I expected thunder so I was disappointed. Storms this time of year can be raging. The other night’s rain, though, was gentle.

      I haven’t ever seen the sand which turns red. The desert sand in Ghana was just sand. I don’t know about the sand also from the Sahara which is now in the southern US.

      Have a wonderful day!!

      • olof1 Says:

        I just read that the Saharan sand that comes up to us is mostly dust so it might be wwhy it becomes red here.

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