Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ethiopian Feast

We had some friends over and enjoyed an Ethiopian feast. We bought some injera at a grocery store here in town and we made a few different sauces (wat). Two of the sauces were recipes from Sudan (ful and salata aswad) and the other two were Ethiopian.

It was delicious. Even the leftovers were great!

In the photo, you can see the border on the Ethiopian rug which we sat on as we ate.

It has been really cold in Winnipeg. One of our friends suggested that we change the name of our blog in keeping with the low temperatures here but we prefer to keep it as Mango Rains because that sounds so much warmer.

Last week Wednesday, the weather was really, really cold. At 6:00 AM it was -34 C with a Wind Chill which made it the equivalent of -50 C! In the newspaper it said that at that same time Winnipeg weather was even colder than the North Pole (-27 C) and the South Pole (-26 C).

So how do Winnipegers cope?

School Buses were canceled for safety reasons. If the bus were to break down and the children are not properly dressed, they could get hurt or die.

Streets: The streets were really slippery because they have become polished into large sheets of ice from all the drivers. City work crews put down sand to stop the slipping.

Tow Trucks: Many people have trouble starting their cars on very cold days. The oil and engine gets sluggish. Tow trucks will come and help you but with the high demand, there is sometimes a 4 hour (or more) wait. Radio stations give reports on how long you will have to wait if you call a tow truck.

Construction workers: Projects are still going ahead but workers are slower than on warm days because their fingers are numb with cold. They cope by taking frequent breaks and using tarps to make tents around the projects which are then heated.

Mail: The mail still gets delivered. Letter carriers take breaks in restaurants or in cars.

Homeless people: There are about 2000 homeless people in Winnipeg and they go to special drop-in shelters when it gets really cold like this.

Most of this info was from the Winnipeg Free Press for Thursday, Jan 15, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It's cold outside!
And it's dark for a lot of the time. When we leave for work and school (photo above), it's still dark even though it is already almost 8 AM. And by the time we get home from work at about 5:30 PM, it's already dark again. The sun just isn't getting around to our part of the world for very long each day.

I have a new philosophy which is helping us get through the winter. It was something I came across in my reading.

"There is no such thing as bad weather....
only inappropriate clothing."

The result of this new philosophy has been to spend time and money getting the appropriate clothing. On a typical day just being inside our house, school or office, we are wearing the following clothing:

  • Undershirt
  • Shirt
  • Hooded sweatshirt or sweater
  • Regular underwear
  • Long Underwear
  • Pants
  • 2 pairs of socks

When we go outside we add the following:
  • Toque (knit hat)
  • Scarf
  • Mittens
  • Heavy jacket with hood
  • Boots

If it is really cold and we are planning to be out for a while we add:
  • Ski pants
  • Face mask
  • Extra-heavy mitts
Conrad is 15.
He celebrated at home with some friends.
They played games
and hung out
and then had dinner of chicken adobo and rice.
The 15 candles on his cake made quite a blaze!