Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The Big Chill

Freezing Temps - and No Heat
The last few days have been the coldest that I've experienced in my two years in Serbia. For much of the winter, temperature lows fluctuated right around the freezing point. Today, the temperature when I woke up was -16° C. This cold weather has moved in from Russia. Yesterday morning at school, one of the three power lines at the school went down. Unfortunately, it was the line that also held the server, routers, and much of the school's heating. For much of the day, kids wore their jackets in classroom, but the greatest whining was that the network was down. It's amazing how dependent we become on technology!
In typical Serbian fashion, getting a straight answer on the cause of the outage and when the power would be restored was elusive. Finally about 15 minutes before the end of the school day, the power went back on.

The Roma
On days like this, I think about the people in the city who do not have proper housing - namely the Roma. Most of their shacks are built from cardboard, tin, and other scrap material. Certainly not weatherproof or winterized. There are many who say that the Roma choose to live that way. However, I find it hard to believe that they actually like or prefer enduring the winter temperatures in such conditions.

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