Posted by: powellsinsantacruz | July 25, 2013

Semana fría

This week has been really cold. We are in winter here in Bolivia and it really feels like it. It is so cold that all fashion sense has gone out the window and coats, hats, scarves, gloves and leg warmers are the order of the day. Roz has been spending her days with a hot water bottle under her jumper. At school the hope has been that classes will be suspended. This hasn’t happened, but we are starting later every morning.

We watched the news the other night, something we don’t do very often. It was traumatic. They managed to get over half an hour out of weather news accompanied by dramatic music that was nearly loud enough so you couldn’t actually hear what the newsreaders were saying. By the end we felt quite stressed. One of my colleagues describes news reporting here as sensationalist; I am inclined to agree. They showed several interviews with people discussing how cold it was, a live view of a weather persons computer screen, the plight of the cold animals in the zoo (don’t worry Auntie Ju- the free roaming sloths have all been collected and put in a room with a heater so they will be okay) and reports on the affect of the cold on crops. My favourite part though was when they showed a roaming reporter out in the field demonstrating the frost that was covering trees and buildings. There were several minutes of frosty views, and the reporter- well wrapped up in a garish tiger blanket- picking frosty leaves, rubbing them together and shivering. All accompanied by dramatic music showing how newsworthy this was. Classic TV.

There is a serious side to this though. Santa Cruz is not set up to cope with these cold temperatures and while the sloths in the zoo may be okay, people die from the cold. We have several friends who live in poorly sheltered houses and we have been worried for them. Hopefully it looks like it is starting to warm up.



  1. Wow. After having read your blog I had a look at what the BBC forecast is for Bolivia and they say -1 degrees C for tonight and 15 degrees C in the daytime. I know it’s only approximate but I can understand why Bolivian’s are being a bit dramatic about it. However, using music during a news report, to add effect isn’t something I like! I like someone just talking normally and calmly with no effect. I feel sorry for Bolivian’s with houses not built for the cold of which I imagine there are very many. Sounds like someone needs to do an appeal for woolly jumpers, hats, scarves etc. May be knitting will become a popular hobby like it is here. Love Al 🙂

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