Hot. Hot. Hot.

"Sheesh, I'm roasting!"

Since the advent of the “rainy season” (read: it has rained twice in the past week), things have cooled down a bit. But, in general, the weather around here is a bit toasty. I love warm weather, so I’m perfectly comfortable here, but many people may find the relentless heat and sun tiring.

The weather is very predictable. There’s no need to worry about what you wear when you leave the house. Every day it is sunny, and the temperature is consistently around 30 to 32 degrees Celsius. Even at night, it is warm (17 to 18 degrees Celsius) and you don’t need any sort of jacket or sweater.

Berbera, which is at a lower altitude, is significantly hotter, probably closer to 33 to 35 degrees Celsius. When I went there, I was sweating like I was in a Turkish bath. I’m glad I don’t live in Berbera.

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7 Responses to “Hot. Hot. Hot.”

  1. You do complain a lot don’t you. You have not posted once without a negative thing to report.

    Your blog would be a lot more enjoyable if you were a bit less negative. Heck it is one of the poorest countries in the world so if you can’t handle it, go home !

    • africagrows Says:

      Please see my previous (positive) posts on Berbera, on the first rains of the season, on the night sky, on sambusas, on Somali tea, on camel meat, on henna, on the call the prayer, on the weather… these are all things I love about Somaliland. I’m happy in Somaliland and that is why I stay here and write this blog about my experiences. It is also why I have invested a lot of my own time and money toward work here in Somaliland that benefits Somali people and toward learning about the Somali language and culture.

      That said, of all the 7 countries I have lived in and the 45 countries I have travelled to in my life – a number of which are also in Africa and also very poor – Somaliland is by far the most underdeveloped, the most conservative, and the most difficult place to live. I am not sure if you have been here yourself, but many of the people travelling through here that I have met are ready to leave after a day or two. Given the reality here, it is impossible to be universally positive about such a challenging place, and therefore this blog reflects all my experiences here, positive and negative.

  2. Woow, Tom, that was deliberately harsh things to say to her. I do not hold the same view as you do. Maybe you havent read all of her blogs. I believe you saying this out of context because as a Somalilander, and someone who read a lot of blogs about Somaliland by expatriates, I believe hers is one of the best out there. So just apologize bro, we all are humans and we do make mistakes.

  3. Tom’s negative comments are totally uncalled for. If the weather is hot, then you say it’s hot. I don’t know what one would expect Katie to say. I enjoy reading this blog because it’s real and it gives me a very good picture of what living in Somaliland is like. I hope to travel there in the near future. It may turn out I’d want to leave after a day of two once I get there, but hey, at least now I know exactly what to expect. Keep up the good work, Katie!

  4. My comment was not specifically about this post, how it was written or what it was written about. It is not about the weather. My comment was about the blog in general.

    I have read most if not all of the previous posts and yes I have been to Somaliland. I take a keen interest with Somaliland and I am very familiar with the place.

    It is just that in every post, and perhaps it is just me, I sense constant negativity, sarcasm and a condescending attitude. Perhaps you do it to be more interesting or entertaining or whatever. Personally, I find it very off-putting.

    To give you explicit examples:

    “Hideous roundabouts”, “Random monuments”, “Ridiculous signs”.

    I could write a paragraph on each of those posts or parts of other posts but I currently haven’t got the time. To quickly comment just on the “random monuments” post, I found that title extremely offensive. How can you call their liberation monument a “random” monument; especially considering that an estimated 50,000 men, women and children died in the Hargeisa bombings alone.

    Everything that is strange, unique and different about Somaliland ought to be what you are there for. If you wanted just another New York or any other developed city, I doubt you’d be in Somaliland.

    Another example of your disdainful attitude: “returning to their respective countries on airlines that may no longer be in operation by the time you read this blog post”.

    To understand why Somaliland is as impoverished as it is you have to look back on the history of the “country”. After independence in 1960 they united with their southern neighbour Somalia. When nine years later a dictator came to power, in the 30 years that it lasted, the regime did not invest in Somaliland at all. What little infrastructure existed was obliterated in the civil war when what was supposed to be the government of the people turned against the north. I remember watching a documentary in which I learnt that the buildings (in Somaliland) were not allowed to be more than two stories high. When Somaliland re-declared its independence, they had to start from scratch with no help whatsoever. No aid, no loans, nothing. Till this day, they have rebuilt their entire country from ashes. So they have gone from the colonial exploitation by the British, to exploitation by their southern neighbour after independence to final peace and independence in 1991. They are in effect a ‘new’ country, with few resources.

    So I am just saying that sometimes I sense negativity, sarcasm and a condescending attitude in your posts. Personally, I find it unnecessary and very off-putting.

    • africagrows Says:

      Hi Tom, thanks again for your thorough and detailed input. I am sorry if some of the posts came across as condescending, because that is certainly not the way I feel toward Somaliland or Somali people. As you pointed out, Somaliland has achieved a lot, and indeed that is why I named the blog “The Phoenix of Somalia,” a reference to the fact that Somaliland (a peaceful, functioning democracy) has risen out of the ashes of war in greater Somalia.

      It is true that I am often sarcastic in what I write, but that is simply sarcasm, and is not meant to be offensive. For example, with the airlines, Daallo is infamously bad and indeed it went bankrupt last year before being resuscitated back into operation (which is what I was making reference to in my joke). Somali people themselves make fun of it– “Daallo is a joke,” “I want my money back,” “We don’t want your old Russian jets,” etc. Airlines in the region frequently go in and out of operation, or cancel routes, and hence are the butt of many (sarcastic) jokes.

      That said, I am sorry if some of this sarcasm came across as offensive (e.g. on more serious topics such as the monuments), and I’m happy to try to make future posts more positive and less sarcastic. As I mentioned already, there are many things I like and enjoy about Somaliland, and experiences I have had here that I would never get anywhere else in the world (as you pointed out).

  5. to be totally honest when I first started to read your blogs 2 months ago I felt the same way as Tom, and this is my second visit after 2 months. But I notice that lately you have being focusing about what you enjoyed about Somaliland which is good to share. Thanks for you posts once again and welcome back any time to Somalialnd

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