I was on my way to the Gondwana Canyon Park, when I realised, while gazing at the desert landscapes that Namibia has a lot to offer. Breath-taking landscapes, intriguing cultures and warm sunny days. But, all this sunshine and scorching heat makes us Namibians extremely fragile, to cold weather. When we watch the eight o’clock news on NBC, and they mention a cold front coming in from the Cape, we have slight panic attacks. It’s at this time that the extra blankets are taken out of the cupboards, and we recall the snow we had in 1994. Each and every one of us has a favourite “it was so cold that…” story. Over the years the Namibian winter has shaped us into cold prevention experts.
Here are our tips and tricks to combat the Namibian cold:
Not only are Namibian Winters cold, but what makes them worse is the wind. Make sure to be nice and warm and protected from the wind, with a warm jacket. Do not worry if it is a little bigger, that only means more comfort and snugness. Secondly, never ever think that your beanie does not fit to your outfit. Putting it on is much better than having cold ears. Long trousers, woollen socks and closed shoes are a must. Be sure to not get caught off guard when that cold front finally arrives. Get yourself a pair of Long-Johns. This cotton attire will have you the warmest you have ever been.
For those of us lucky enough, a fire place in the home or your Granny’s old ‘’Koolstoof’’ is the perfect heater for the home. Make a fire, it adds ambiance as well. As for the “Koolstoof”, it can also be used to make the best food around, just like Ouma used to make. Otherwise, the second best option will have to do. Invest in a few heaters, a small one under your work desk will do wonders, and one or two in the home will surely drive out that cold.
Food and Drinks
To stay warm this winter, stick to soul food, forget about fitness salads and health breakfasts. You need soul food. Wholesome Home cooking. Soups and Stews, or even better, invite your friends and family over for a Potjie. The whole experience will leave you warmer. Nothing revitalises Namibian spirits like friends and family enjoying each other’s company around a fire, especially when it’s used to cook your meal.
Of course these wonderful feasts are not always necessary, sometimes we only need something to drink to warm our bodies and souls. Stick to creamy hot-chocolate, steaming tea or piping hot coffee, wonderful at home, or at the office. But for evenings at home or out and about, try some Glühwein, the traditional German Christmas drink is perfect for cold Namibian winter evenings. The warm red wine, infused with spices and fruits will have you feeling warmer in no time. The one upside to winter, our beer. Namibians love beer and the breweries have not forsaken us in these dire times. Just like an ice cold draught quenches our thirst in summer, in winter it’s time for Urbock beer. Urbock is a seasonal Namibian beer brewed using dark malted barley that gives it a distinct red glow and a rich malty flavour, it is a perfect beer for the Namibian Winter, and is best enjoyed on chilly nights.
Find the Sun
Finding the sun is the perfect winter game. Taking a break from your cold office, to have a chat with a few colleagues huddled together in the sun light will have you gladly forget about the cold for a few short moments. Until you are back at your desk. These chats usually evolve around how cold it is and what we all wish for to fight it. But there are no stronger bonds than your winter huddle at work, we understand each other’s pain and support each other through the coldest of days.
Surely, there are some other tips and tricks, to stay warm this winter, which would you like to share with us? Leave them in the comment section below.