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Cool the Planet!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Yvette, a Filipina, is one of Cool The Planet!'s featured bloggers. From Port Sudan, she weighs in with something that may not entirely be familiar to most Filipinos. Read all about it (yes, that's one humongous sandstorm in the picture...)


No, the clouds didn't fall from the sky; this is not cloud tsunami either. Haboob! This is haboob, sandstorm. It is dust and sand combined with strong winds, and once it hits it will definitely take over your carefully polished floor and sneak into those tiny slots in your neatly placed electronics if you forgot to close your windows and doors. Like a strong typhoon, the haboobwill give you zero visibility as you travel city streets in the midst of its attack.

After living for 11 months in this part of Sudan I have grown familiar with this giant. The only warning we get is the extreme heat prior to its arrival. Sometimes the sky just turns mocha and brings in the dust-laden wind in our midst.

I've heard claims that Khartoum has reached a high of 50 degrees Celsius, this year. I am not surprised there are times when going out of the building is like entering a hot oven. It's extremely hot and dry. The Sudanese say this year has been hotter than previous years; they too can't help but wonder. For us, well, there is no escaping the heat. The only option is to simply wait indoors the whole day, wait for the more friendly night sky, and hope for the arrival of winter.

Winter? In Sudan? Yes, there is winter; there's no snow but the cold winds do come. Many people here look forward to the last quarter of the year. October usually marks the start of the season, but it's already November and the cold winds seem to be evasive and somewhere else.

Abubakr, a Sudanese friend in his mid-twenties explained to me how it was during his teenage years: "I used to wear sweaters at this time of the year, my mother would give me two to be sure that I kept myself warm. Well, not anymore. My younger brothers haven't even experienced it. Too bad for them. I keep wondering why we don't have good cold weather anymore. I remember the draught, maybe its that, hmm I don't know."

We haven't lost hope, there are still a good number of days before the year reaches its end. We will see the spark of winter at some point and hopefully be allowed by sister haboob to rest.

Sudanese sandstorm photo by Yvette; group pic (Yvette's on the right most in stripes) by Marissa in NYC)

posted by Redster @ 11:05 PM,


At 12:03 PM, Anonymous jona said...

holy syet! i can just imagine all the cleaning that would have to be done after a sandstorm. *faints from horror (and laziness)

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous Yvette said...

Korek! You will surely call all the angels and saints to help you deal with the aftermath! :-)

At 10:10 PM, Anonymous Max Hima said...

well, speaking of sandstorm... beijing is home to sandstorm. Though the causes of sandstorm are kind of complicated--deforestation, desertification, microclimate of certains regions during the year, etc. etc. but climate change definitely worsens the situation.

sadly some of my friends visit beijing and left felt unsatisfied. they wanted to experience the sandstorm there! but people living there know it is not a joke.


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