The Dry Season

So we’re into our second dry season, and so far it’s been pretty different from the first.

Last year was hot but the air was pretty clear. This year seems to be cooler (still hot by most standards) and much much more hazy. If we go by what people say this season is much more on par with normal. See if you can spot the difference in the videos below, which I took out of our spare bedroom’s window. One’s much shorter than the other, because I took it just for comparison.

The haze is a mix of two things; sand and pollution. During the dry season, November to March, sand from the Sahara desert blows down south in what is known as Harmattan. Also, the current waste management system dictates that trash pile up in the landfill during the rainy season and gets burned during the dry season, because it’s too wet the rest of the year to burn.

We drove past the landfill the other day, and it was very odd. You could see a column of smoke rising, but it was hard to tell where it started and ended. It just kind of blended in to the haze on both sides. Needless to say, we’re spending much more time indoors this dry season, as the sand and pollution get all up in your eyes and throat.

On a slightly related note, I was talking to an Africa rover who said that the most beautiful sunrises they’d ever seen were in Kinshasa, DRC because for whatever reason pollution gathers just offshore (I don’t know if that’s at all true but, it seems plausible) and the earlier morning light refracted in beautiful ways. It doesn’t seems to be the same here though. . .

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