We've been very blessed so far with a fairly warm winter. It's our 9th winter here and probably the warmest one we've had so far.
If you haven't followed this blog very long or if you don't know much about Brasil then you might be surprised to hear that we have four seasons. The northern part of our country is mainly warm and, during their winter, have lots of rain. We, in the southern part of Brasil, have four seasons and our winters can get pretty cold.
So we've enjoyed our warmer days but knew it was just a matter of time before the cold finally arrived.
It arrived last week for a few days.
Benay and I grew up very spoiled to the fact that if we were hot then we could go into the house and turn on the cold air and in minutes the entire house would be cold. If we were cold in the winter then all we had to do was turn on the heat and the entire house would quickly be warm. Living in Brasil has been really good in reminding us that most of the world doesn't enjoy central heat or air - a "luxury" that Americans take for granted.
Here, we can buy space heaters, oil heaters or gas heaters. Honestly, they are expensive to use and only help for the moment. Why? Because houses here are not insulated like in the states. Your house is just a concrete building. So you turn on your heat and heat up a room. You have to turn it off after a little while because it's too expensive to run. About 5-10 minutes after you turn it off your room is freezing cold again. So sometimes we think, "What's the point"?
So, in the winter, the cold comes into your house and stays in your house. Sometimes it's colder in your house than it is outside. We use our heaters occasionally (on super cold nights) and we usually let the smaller kids sleep with their oil heaters on during those nights but the rest of us mostly just bundle up.
Something about being able to see your breath inside your house makes you even colder and want to go to bed early. I took the following photos last week at around 9:00-9:30 one night last week when it was really cold. The best way to beat the cold is to go to bed with lots of clothes on and pile on the blankets.
Bronwyn who konked out on the couch around 7:00.
Carys in her bed. Just look for the little brown patch of hair under all the covers.
Garrett and Anderson in their room. Garrett had fallen asleep, while listening to his radio, on the floor as he was waiting for the start of our team's soccer game at 9:50. He didn't make it. I can no longer pick him up to put him in the top bunk so it's sometimes a war to wake him up and get him to move. He's solid. Pretty soon he's going to be pounding me when we wrestle. Thankfully, that night he made it into his bed. They look warmer because we closed the door in their room and turned on the heat. You can see the oil heater beside Garrett's head.
Ansley sleeping alone in her bed because her bunkmate was on the couch.
Giovanni in his bed.
And my girlfriend's forehead and eyeballs.
Our winters are tough. When it gets around 40 degrees or less it becomes tough to deal with in the house. We rarely hit freezing or below but occasionally we do. But through all the cold weather, we are blessed to have ways to try to deal with it.
So many people don't have ways to combat it. We've already heard of some people, who live in the streets, that have died in our state because of the recent cold.
Please pray for those people and for all people in the world who die because they lack, what we would consider, basic necessities to survive the change in seasons.