Sunday, February 20, 2011

41 Degrees in the House

My roommate checked a thermometer on Thursday and it was 41 degrees in the house. This means that it is probably a similar temperature outside. Compared to the midwest, the winters here are quite mild. However, a lack of central heating makes for a different kind of extreme cold.

Last weekend the weather turned sour. As if we didn't have a rough enough monsoon (the worst in 50 years, apparently), we've been blessed with a week's worth of rain, hail, sleet, slush, intense thunderstorms, strong winds, and, ultimately, snow! The latter is a recent development, while everything else has been present since Sunday morning.

A shot from my classroom after the clouds cleared for the first time in a few days.

Emily and I walking to school after overnight snow.

Mussoorie covered in snow.
Himalayan roads + Indian drivers + no 4-wheel drive = terrifying


Instead of central heating, we have three options: bukharis (woodstoves), electric blow heaters, and gas cylinder heaters. None of these is particularly efficient, and all are currently in short supply. Since December, wood and gas have been elusive, not to mention expensive. So, the best option is an electric blow heater. Well, at least it was until we received an email this week saying that we must turn off all heaters until further notice. Apparently Woodstock's grid can't handle them. So, now it is hovering around freezing outside, and only a few degrees warmer inside, and we have no source of heat. Thankfully, there is priority for wood to be delivered to heat some of the classrooms. Mine is a lucky recipient...

The bukhari in my classroom. I spend my day keeping it going, which can be difficult when I am only provided with logs that are 8 inches in diameter, no kindling, and no matches...

The bukhari is literally in the middle of the classroom. This would be a liability anywhere else...

Frozen fingers aside, it has been a fun week. Woodstock students go berserk for snow. Many of them have little or no experience with it and find endless satisfaction in throwing snowballs.

I think this 8th grader needs another growth spurt!

Elementary kids passing through and stopping for a snowball fight. (Taken from my classroom).

Looking out from the art room.

These sophomores are supposed to be in class!

Also, I was pretty excited one morning when I found sleeping monkeys! I've always known that monkeys sleep in trees, but I've never actually witnessed it. This is mostly because they rise and set with the sun, so it is difficult to spot them in the dark. On a particularly gross morning, I not only saw them sleeping, but they were definitely sleeping in! It was at least a half hour past sunrise; they must have had a rough night with the hail and wind.

A bump on a log....


Nicole Suzanne Farley said...

What a fun post! Except for the COLD, holy cow! I can't imagine not being able to have the blow heaters, that was our saving grace last year. Hang in girl!

Bill K. said...

Yes, Woodstock can be uncomfortably cold in February. Glad you have a wood stove in the art room! Hate to think you have several weeks yet before the temps will likely be more amenable.

The hill side can be beautiful after a snow. Blessings! Bill K.