So we in the Western Parts of Africa have just 2 seasons : Wet (RAINY) & Dry (HARMATTAN). For those who are familiar with the weather here, you''ll attest to the fact that when it rains, it REALLY RAINS & when it's hot and dry, God help you if you have no access to Air-conditioning systems.
Now, remembering Mrs Okani, my geography teacher from my days in QC, the Harmattan Winds are a result of the South-bound Trade-winds blowing from the Sahara Desert & the Northern Parts of West Africa (most esp Nigeria) to the Gulf of Guinea. This usually happens sometime between November & March most years!
Ok, so let me put it down for those who have been away from these parts & need a reminder of how the Harmattan feels:
- Mornings are always Cold, you don't want to bathe with water that has been exposed for more than 1hour esp outside
- Visibility is limited & sometimes the sun gets covered, which is the reason for d drop in temp
- The air has a crisp feel & sometimes gets in your nose & mouth
- Bathing with Hot water is even worse when you expose yourself to the early morning draft
- No matter how much moisturizer you applied pre-clothes, your face, knuckles, Hands, knees and feet appear & feel very dry. This makes you look like you worked in a Cement manufacturing plant Gloveless & bare-foot.
- Windows left open is a great avenue for getting all surfaces in your house, including Curtains & Beddings heavily covered in dust.
- Cars need to be washed every morning, or lets just say, don't bother because every morning your car looks like it was involved in some NASCAR racing of some sorts.
- Eyes tend to get irritated, most esp when you have a case of Pink eye/ Conjunctivitis (An infection,we here refer to as APOLLO)
- Colds & various cases of Fever are rampant during this season.
- If you wash clothes & hang them to dry outside, they get dry in tops 4hours,no matter how thick
- Your nose, most mornings feel so dry & on fire. More like irritation in your respiratory system.
- Lips also have a tendency to crack in the mid-area of the lower lip
- Leather shoes have a great tendency to crack
So here are few tips that come in handy during this period :
- Get your Chapstick-game on.if that's not accessible, use some Vaseline / raw shea butter to keep your lips moisturized
- Most moisturizers can't tackle the dryness that comes with this season, so your best bet will be to add a little vaseline / shea butter to keep ur skin looking as glossy as possible.believe me when i say you dont want to go down the road of dry-looking skin.
- Sweaters / Cardigans are your best friend, especially when wearing white shirts or clothes because every surface has a thick layerof dust you don't want to mess with
- Your favourite leather goods need to be polished or waxed to prevent cracking
- If you happen to work long hours in exposed places, pls be sure to cover the exposed parts of your face as much as possible.
Hopefully, you'll have a better experience this year
Ps: Here's a post i made last year on this same issue : Harmattan Fever!