SO, last weekend I was in California for my boyfriend’s brother’s wedding in Ventura. It was so beautiful! They got married on top of a hill overlooking the city and the ocean. There was a big cross at the top of the hill and tons of rose petals spread all around!!! So beautiful. And Lauren, the new Mrs. Houck, looked like a princess. Overall it was a great time! That being said, I didn’t write a blog last week, so I’m making up for it with a double dose of information.
The first thing I’d like to talk about is the weather! Here in Oswego, it’s starting to get a lot colder, forties in the day and thirties over night. We haven’t had snow yet, but I was sure we were going to this week. My parents said that it snowed a little down in the Southern Tier this past week. Soon enough, Oswegonians, we’ll get blasted.
I spent my freshmen year in the Adirondacks where it got down to -26 degrees some days, and we still had to go to class. That was brutal. When I transferred to Oswego the following year, I didn’t think that the winter could be worse than the Adirondacks. Well, the temperature here in Oswego hardly gets as low as negative 20s, but there are other factors that make it hard to handle. When it’s snowing and the wind’s blowing 20-30 mph and you have to walk to class in a blizzard, that’s pretty intense and hard to handle. Last year, more than once, I was lifted up by the wind up onto my toes and pushed by it. There are smaller girls who walk around and you can see them getting buffeted by the wind.
It’s pretty crazy, but there are some precautions you should take to weather the weather, if you will. When you go outside, wear a hat that covers your head, ears, neck, etc. You may not want to mess up your hair or look weird wearing a beanie, but trust me it’s definitely worth it. Next, wear a scarf! These things save so much heat by covering up the nape of your neck front and back. They can also double as mouth/cheek covers if you pull them up far enough.
Another thing you should invest in is a good pair of boots. I’m not talking about the fashionable high heel boots or Uggs that freeze your toes as soon as they hit the snow. Invest in a pair from Dick’s or something. They have cute, well-insulated boots for less than $40. I’d say risk the fashion faux pas by keeping your feet warm from frostbite. And boys, steel toe boots don’t cut it. Wear some hunting or hiking boots that have insulation in it to save your footsies. IF you don’t want to invest in high-end weather boots, invest in some wool socks. I have a pair of impractical but very cute boots that I love wearing, and I always wear my wool socks to keep my toes from freezing when I’m out walking around in the snow that gets blown onto the sidewalks.
And please, don’t wear just tights as pants! You’ll freeeeze! If you want to dress nice or have to for a practicum or presentation but you don’t want to freeze, put on some Long Johns (thermal underwear) under your dress slacks. Fashion doesn’t have to be a sacrifice! My overall advice for dealing with an Oswego winter is – dress for the weather and not the fashion, stay covered up, change your background on your computer to a beach scene to remind you of brighter days to come, and go out and play in the snow! We don’t want to get cabin fever do we?
And now, for the second aspect of my blog. I’d like to add another tidbit of information on GHANA!!!
(the following information comes from The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture – Ghana by Ian Utley – 2009 – Kuperard – Random House)
In Ghana, it’s proper to greet someone when you see them anywhere, if you don’t it’s an insult (p 78). They’re more apt to hold grudges for one missed greeting than people in the U.S. would be. We’re more used to walking down a city block, not knowing anyone, and not even acknowledging other people’s presence. It’s an American thing that would fly in Ghana. It’s important to say it even before buying something. Utley writes that there is a difference between “Good morning. Please, do you sell cigarettes?” and “Please, do you sell cigarettes?” (p 79). There’s a good deal of respect inherent in conversations in Ghana that also is different than American culture. In the South, students still address teachers as Ma’am and Sir from time to time. It’d be the same in Ghana.
I also learned that you’re supposed to use your right hand to eat and greet and all that. It’s considered rude to use your left hand because what is implied is that you use your left hand for bathroom duties, so to use it to eat or shake hands, even if you washed or not, is considered more or less gross. That’ll be hard to get used to because I’m used to using both hands to eat, switching the utensils. SO, we’ll see how I fare at this!
That’s all for now… thanks for your patience! Take care and have a great weekend!