AfriLife

Winter is here! How to survive chilly weather in the tropics

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The chill is being felt all over, you may find yourself randomly shivering as its cold fingers steal through your collar and down your back. While your stateside cousins (not UK, they are just sad and alone since Brexit). Where was I… while your Stateside cousins celebrate their summer, here in Kenya the opposite is happening, the Big Chill is in town and maasai blankets (someone actually just wore one proudly to church last week), Raymond blanket hand me downs, gabi’s from Ethiopia and goose down duvets are being brought out in full force.

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For those who have migrated from colder climes to live and work here, our version of winter is a  funny joke, one Clevelander tells me it gets down to -15°C (faint) in his hometown so our cold weather is actually nothing to complain about. I just stared at him as my teeth chattered. I figured the Lebron James led Cleveland Cavaliers’ game 7 win —the first since 1964 — must be what was keeping him so warm.

If you are a child of the sun like I am, the chilly weather is not welcome, especially if you are like me and sometimes suffer from cold at your extremities. I have found that this can be remedied by happily placing those on the back of unsuspecting but warm spouses in the dead of the night.

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Yassss…

So here’s how to survive Kenya’s Winter solstice…

 Layer up

Don’t just throw on a warm jacket over your chiffon top and expect to stay warm, not unless you want to catch a cold. Layer up with a vest, warmer top, sweater and then jacket. Freeze and shine is for stupid people, let go the need to show off your tulegs in a short skirt and crop top and opt for warm tights (aka sexy yoga pants) and warmer upper clothing. Boots, yes free the boots, although in Nairobi people free the boots when there is even a slight drizzle. Socks, you can never have enough socks. Scarfs, Ksh200 depending on what part of Nairobi you are in, fixed price. Funny how the mitush sellers always know how to switch styles to suit weather. Most retail clothing stores stay stuck trying to be on trend with seasons that do not exist in Africa.

 Hot Chocolate

It really is the best thing. If done right, it hits the spot just right. If you are feeling fancy, 360 pizza has an amazing hot chocolate, if you are home bound try this hot chocolate recipe from @kuithefish and thank me later. Curl up with a book and nice blanket and enjoy.

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Hot chocolate at 360 degrees Pizza, Nairobi

Kui’s quick hot chocolate recipe

One tablespoon(or more, if you are me) of Black and Gold chocolate powder (Cadbury’s if you like)

One cup of milk

Half a cup of water

Put all in a sufuria/pot to boil

Add nutmeg powder, amount of sugar you want.

Serve hot and add marshmallows and /or nutella for extra yumminess.

 Eat well

Unfortunately, cold weather encourages unhealthy snacking, mandazi, chapatti, pizza, samosa anything potato and fried… it’s called comfort food for a reason, to ‘comfort ye through the cold season’. Going to the gym or for a 5k run becomes an even harder struggle on Saturday mornings. Let’s face it, you’d rather stay in and watch Game of Thrones. Still, this is the season to organise pot luck dinners with friends, they are fun and easy way to socialise. Also enlist a workout buddy to help keep you in check and avoid unhealthy snacking, a well made soup is always better than a chocolate butter dripped pastry…I know, I know, the latter sounds more delicious.

Have warm weekend!

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