I would like to ask everyone to please disregard my earlier post Winter, come out come out wherever you are! as it was clearly misguided. It has been FREEZING here the last week or so! And for Paraguay, it really is freezing hitting lows of 40 degrees at night. This country is not accustomed to the cold, and it shows in the design of the homes, the lack of heating, and abundance of heavy wool blankets in each home… not to mention the over-layering of whatever clothes you have! The first few days I suffered terribly, (“But you’re used to this kind of cold, aren’t you?” they all asked,) but was not sure how to keep warm without heating at home or in the office, and just had a bone chilling feeling of ice. Not to mention I have had quite a nasty cold I was trying not to neglect! Luckily for me I was able to buy a little plug in space heater which has been working remarkably well!
The reality is that this country usually suffers from a few days to a week of “cold” weather and then things return to their normal warm self, however with all this whacky weather we have been having this year (consistently 95 degrees in New York this summer, hitting above 100 in Central Park last week??) there is no reason for anyone to have been prepared. Unfortunately those who have been hit worst are those who are homeless, and the poor animals who usually roam the streets (or their pastures) freely. There have been 100 reported deaths in the Southern Cone from the cold, mostly people who live on the streets – as well as more than 600 cattle reported dead in the last few days, in Paraguay alone. Not to mention the snow that has been blanketing northern Argentina, parts of Brazil, and now northern Paraguay and southern Bolivia in the region known as El Chaco, which is known for being impressively hot year round. Of course, aside from the obvious culprit – humanity, err I mean Global Warming – the deforestation of the forests down here certainly don’t help the plight of animals who might otherwise seek shelter from such extreme weather in the safety of the jungle.
As such, I go to sleep each night with my space heater blazing on 2000 Vatios, (whatever that means,) underneath 3 layers of comforters and blankets, in my flannel PJ pants and hoodie. Excessive, one might say, but as long as I don’t wake up sweating or freezing I’m happy! My work dress has changed to much the same apparel, layers upon layers of socks, spandex, jeans, camisoles, shirts, sweaters, fleeces, scarves, and gloves. All in one day, mind you! Being accustomed to OVER-heated buildings in the winter in New York, (another culprit of over-use of the Earth’s energy resources?) I am ashamed to call myself a New Yorker, who loves the snow and jumps in it like a 10 year old whenever it falls, as I sit and shiver at 50 degrees.