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September 28, 2008 Snow

It occurred to me recently to start a betting pool among the PCVs on the mountain.* When will the first snow fall? My host father promised me that we never get snow before November, but that it will continue snowing till March. Jamila’s counterpart, who I chatted with on a recent tranzit ride, said that April and May snows aren’t uncommon, and June snows not unheard of. And today I was told that it can snow as early as September, but won’t ever snow past February. (This I do not believe.)

…and then the whole issue of "first snowfall" was rendered moot, because WE ALREADY GOT SNOW. Not here in Berberville, but along the road between Berberville and the next big village down the mountain, there are fields covered in about an inch of snow. When I saw the first pockets of white in shadowed crannies, I doubted myself. But as the pockets grew into patches, and then drifts, and then whole fields, I stopped doubting and started grinning. We got snow!!
IN SEPTEMBER!?!?!?!?!??!?! This winter might last longer than I want to consider.

**Update: It may not have been snow. My host mother assures me that it was hail. Can tiny, couscous-sized hail grains pile up to look like snowdrifts from five feet away? Can they blanket a countryside to an inch deep? I really don’t know much about hail. And I’m not actually sure whether I *want* it to be snow or hail. I’m emotionally invested in snow, but I’m also rather afraid of the length and intensity of the coming winter, and would rather believe that it hasn’t begun yet.

*In case I haven’t used this term before, "on the mountain" refers to all the Volunteers who share my SouqTown. Most of us are scattered in mountain villages between Berberville and SouqTown, though a few are on the far side of SouqTown, Also, while Berberville is much higher in elevation than SouqTown, there are actually several different mountains that we all live on. Nevertheless, we occasionally use the phrase to refer to the dozen Volunteers in the region, as in, "Say hi to the mountain for me," or "I invited the mountain to help out on this project."

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Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps