Feb 032011
Snow-enveloped cars in Boston.

Snow-enveloped cars in Boston today.

It is difficult to write this because the heat has been broken in my apartment for five hours, and my bones (finger-bones included) are now ice-encrusted.

Maybe you’ve heard: we’ve had a liiiittle bit of winter weather here in Boston lately! What has it been: 6 giant blizzards in 6 weeks? 8 feet of snow total? Who knows. All I do know for sure is that we’ve had 5 Snow Days which closed schools, and there are hundreds of igloo-ed cars like the ones in the photo to the left nestled around Boston!

I bring this up now because I just laughed aloud, realizing: exactly a year ago (from January to March), I was in 110-degree, sticky-hot, sweaty Ghana… moaning about how I was frying up!

Cars? Snow banks? Animals?

Cars? Snow banks? Animals?

And so, if you want a good laugh from contrast, pop over to these two articles from January and February of 2010, a year and a vast ocean away:

Heat and Development in Ghana (where I ponder if the exhaustion one feels in super-hot climates impacted history and economics)…

…and Power Outages and the Power of Patience in Ghana (in which I describe the agony of the heat you feel in Ghana when the power goes out and the fans stop spinning… and the lesson my students in Ghana taught me from this).

Leave comments, ask questions, share your stories and insights, and laugh your rear off at this fragile human body we have, which we try so hard (and sometimes so ineffectually) to protect from the brutal elements!

“When is the mechanic going to fix my heat??” I just asked my landlord of the phone.

“Well,” he replied, “you’ll know it’s fixed when it’s not cold anymore.”


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  26 Responses to “From Hot Ghana Sweat to Giant Snow Banks, a Year Apart”

  1. That must have been an insane transition. You must have been freezing!

  2. You’re right! Our winters are crazy in New England. Though I’ve never been to Ghana to compare it.

  3. It must have been hard to live through the shivering cold and the scorching heat, but since you’ve experienced both, which would you prefer if you had to pick from the two choices? What did you do with the 5 extra days off?

  4. This is how I feel in the summer time. It get’s really hot in my house during summer. But during winter I can’t wait until it’s summer. But your trip sounds relaxing. And sounds like you enjoyed your time in Ghana.

  5. I like how you compare the weather in Boston and Ghana. Great article!

  6. Hi Ms. Marshall.
    This article is very relatable! In the summer, I always wanted it to be winter. In the winter I want it to be summer again. It looks like it’ll feel very weird to go from over 100 degrees in Ghana and come back to see a whole lot of snow in Boston that is up to your knees and weather that is extremely cold! This article is very interesting and descriptive and I learned a lesson: never leave Boston in the winter to go to a place right near the equator!

  7. I find this post very interesting! Crazy how in other parts of the world, their winter is the opposite of ours! I don’t know how I feel. I want the snow now, but I know that when winter is here, I’ll be counting down the days until summer. Maybe I’ll take a trip to Ghana if I get tired with the snow!

  8. It’s weird how some people complain about the cold and some complain about the heat. Either way you will complain about both of them. Personally, I would prefer heat over cold, you can always go in the water when it is hot. In Ghana, sometimes they probably want it to be cold while sometimes we in Boston want it to be hot in the season of winter. I wonder how you adjusted when you returned to Boston from Ghana? This trip must have been interesting and very intriguing.

  9. I totally understand how you feel because the weather was absolutely crazy in Boston… except for the part of no school — that was awesome. To go from 110 degree weather to eight feet of snow would definitely feel weird although for me the cold winter didn’t bother me as much as other people who have been complaining.

  10. This snow is crazy, if only just a little bit of that heat from overly warm places could blow over here and warm us up a bit! This stuff is not fun anymore 😊

  11. When you were in Ghana, you were sweating so much. After a year, you’re in Boston and you’re freezing. This reminds me of when it’s in the summer, I want the winter to come. But when the winter comes, I want the summer to be here right now.

  12. Let it snow. (: Having that cold breeze run through your house is awful. I feel bad for you. /:

  13. I feel bad for you, Ms. Marshall! Are you serious that there’s no heat in your apartment during a cold day like that? I dont’t like the weather to be like that either. I wish it’s summer now, I miss summer so much. 🙁


  14. Don’t you love the weather now!! There’s no more snow!!

  15. There was a lot of snow, but luckily for me I have a snowblower! 😛

  16. I have never hated snow I have always loved snow actually. I actually really enjoyed the snow this year. I cannot however stand the rain. I hate rain so much because it is so annoying.

  17. The snow was fun for me. I don’t know what the rest of you are complaining about. Snow=no school No school=Fun.
    That is my way of looking at it.

  18. I’d rather be in the coldness of Boston than Ghana. Ew. I can’t stand humidity, even though I love summer. It’s just annoying how the snow and salt stain all my stuff. I can’t wait to go to beaches and be free in the summer. All this coldness is making my skin dry. But, I see some signs of spring :). The days are getting longer. Then a lot of the snow is melting. I cannot wait to see flowers start blooming again. This winter was very memorable for me though. I have to admit, this was my favorite winter. I loved how we got so many snow days, but I hate how we’re gonna make up for it later. No Saturday school,right D: ?

  19. I cannot stand all this snow anymore. Like back in December and January it was awesome, because we got to miss school. But now that BPS is saying that they will take days off of April vacaton, I wish that all this snow would just go away! Plus the snow’s ugly now that they’re all black. I WANT SUMMER BACK!

  20. I’ve actually always loved the winter since at the end of the day I can put on 3 bed sheets and sleep like a baby.

  21. In the second picture, there are three cars… or are they? Could there be huge wallabies hiding under the snow? Maybe. I keep hearing some Australian accent in my backyard …

  22. I am so done with the snow. I walk home from my bus stop everyday and I always get snow and salt on my Uggs. It’s so annoying. Plus, I have to watch out for falling icicles. I just cant wait for the summer to be back!

  23. The snow itself has actually never really bothered me. But I’m starting to worry about how BPS is going to make up the days we’ve missed. I’m hoping they don’t start cutting into February or April vacation, that idea just kills me.

  24. The funny thing is we didn’t have nearly this much snow last year! Also, it is a very unfortunate situation with your heat I hope it can get fixed soon. I bet you were happy to see rain yesterday, at least some of the snow is melted now. But I hear we are getting another storm this week get your shovel ready!

  25. I love the word nestled and the context you used it in. This summer I was in Sudan, which I believe the average temperature is 100-120 degrees. So I have had the same experience.

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