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OM Stories

When you're sick of the sun

It finally happened.

After living in Africa for nearly two years I, Rebecca, am sick of the sun.

There are two seasons here in southern Africa: the dry season and the rainy season. In the dry season, it is hot, and in the rainy season it is, well, still hot. (Hot being 20-30 degrees Celsius.) But at any given moment, it can and will start pouring rain.

As even 20 degrees is shorts weather in Canada, some days, I find myself sitting beside someone wearing a parka while I'm in a t-shirt.

Seriously, it's happened.

“It's winter,” they tell me.

“It's cold,” they say.

I smile and laugh, all the while thinking that this has been one long summer.

Sitting in the sunshine, I've complied a list of things this Canadian girl misses about that wonderful, incredible, often-dreamt-of, wistfully-thought-of season: winter.


1. Scarves

The everyday winter essential. Scarves are extremely useful. Besides being fashionable, they can act as a blanket, pillow, head scarf, vest, umbrella or seat cover.


2. Boots

These days, my toes feel claustrophobic when confined to shoes. Sandals or bare feet, that's where it's at in Africa! That being said, I miss my boots. They're so pretty. And comfortable. But mostly pretty. 


3. Going a whole day without sweating

I don't feel the need to go into much detail on this one, but really, it would be nice.



Skiing, snowshoeing, snowmen, snowball fights, sledding. The look of it, the smell of it. Snow is wonderful; snow is magical. It transforms landscapes and inspires the imagination.


5. Snow days

The ultimate excuse to skip work or school that everyone agrees with! not only is it something your boss won't argue with (after all, the roads are dangerous), but snow days are also unexpected, you most likely feel great, and they provide the perfect opportunity to binge watch that stack of DVDs you've been meaning to get around to. My personal favourite snow day companion: Gilmore Girls. Because they feel the same way about snow.


6. Pumpkin scones, gingerbread, peppermint lattes, apple cider, and all those other wonderful treats associated with winter

Why? Because they're delicious!


7. It's easier to relax

In summer, there are more daylight hours, and you feel you should stay up longer. The weather is nicer, and there are no excuses to stay indoors. Everything is growing, and there's always weeding to be done. But in winter, the sun sets at five o'clock, making for early nights. Rainy or snow or just plain cold days are a great excuse to curl up with a book, and the state of the grass under the snow and leaves doesn't matter!


8. Christmas music

I am a huge fan of Christmas music; just ask anyone who knows me. But there's something that just doesn't feel right listening to "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" while sitting in shorts and applying sunscreen. (Who am I kidding--I'm listening to Christmas music right now, but it would be even better if it were cold.)


9. Snuggling under the blankets

One of my favourite feelings is waking up a few minutes before the alarm clock goes off and being able to snuggle deeper into the abundance of blankets covering the bed, cold nose peeping out of the top. I didn't even own a blanket during my first six months in Africa, and now, I have just a thin one.


10. No mosquitoes

Whether they all die, hibernate or migrate, there are NO mosquitoes during winter. Therefore, no need to hide indoors, sleep under mosquito nets (and get tangled up in them during sleep), or apply bug spray every few hours. (It's the new perfume everyone is wearing!) In addition to the mosquitoes, all the wasps, bees, and flies also disappear.


Never be ashamed of where you came from

When you're a foreigner in your own country

When you're a foreigner in your own country