Sunday, January 10, 2010

Cold Spell

La Prensa Grafica has been full of warnings of a cold spell here in the last few days. For the benefit of my friends in colder lands to the north, this means that the temperature in San Salvador tonight is expected to drop to about 60 degrees Fahrenheit (with a predicted daytime high of 86). In mountainous areas, the low might be as low as 45.

Now to someone living through winter in Washington or New Jersey, this may seem like great summer weather, but here many people don't have warmer clothes to put on or much more than a sheet to cover the bed. And the winds are expected to be high - between 12 and 20 miles per hour with gusts up to 30mph.

It's always interesting to find out in different cities what kind of weather or natural disaster merits a full page of "how to live through it" advice in the paper. In Seattle, it's earthquakes; in Oklahoma City, tornadoes; in Albuquerque, snowstorms (to name a few of the cities I've lived in). Here in El Salvador, a cold spell counts. The meteorology of the cold front was graphically explained and people were advised to stay indoors and bundle up warmly.

I'm welcoming three friends from the north, coming in on the plane tonight (and I hope the winds will not get in their way): Kathy Garcia, Amalia Camacho and Randy Querin are coming down on a small PazSalud mission to make a video about cataract surgery that we'll be able to show to our prospective patients. They'll be happy to have a cold spell, El Salvador version, after the winter weather in Eugene, OR and Longview, WA.

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