Daylight Savings Time in Windhoek

Today, Namibia starts Daylight Savings Time. Starting the first Sunday in September, it ends six months later on the first Sunday in April. In Africa, only Namibia, the Canary Islands, Egypt, Mauritius, Morocco and Tunisia use DST.

From Wikipedia: “In Canada, time is under provincial and territorial jurisdiction, not federal. Since at least the 1970s, all provinces and territories have matched their DST start and end dates to those used in the United States, and when the U.S. Congress changed the rules effective 2007 the provinces and territories (except Saskatchewan) changed their time legislation to match. Since 2007, their DST starts on the second Sunday in March, and returns to standard time on the first Sunday of November, to coincide with the U.S. dates. [M]ost of Saskatchewan does not technically observe DST but rather observes a skewed ‘standard time’ that has been advanced one hour forward permanently (that is, observing what is sometimes known as ‘year-round DST’).”

Remember that? The idea was to save energy.

So, here is a table of time zone differences between Canada (EST) and Windhoek (West African Time) using a 24 hour clock:

Montreal Windhoek
January February March April May June
Montreal 00:00 00:00 01:00 01:00 01:00 01:00
Windhoek 07:00 07:00 07:00 06:00 06:00 06:00
Difference +7 +7 +6 +5 +5 +5
Windhoek Montreal
July August September October November December
Montreal 01:00 01:00 01:00 01:00 00:00 00:00
Windhoek 06:00 06:00 07:00 07:00 07:00 07:00
Difference +5 +5 +6 +6 +7 +7

In Canada, the summer is winding down (although September is now becoming drier and warmer than (increasingly rainy) Eastern Canada in July and August. Here in Windhoek, spring is starting. And although for us Canadians the Namibian winter is equivalent to a cool summer day, Namibians behave like Canadians in winter: stay inside, dress warmly (toque, winter coat, boots). With spring, joggers have hit the streets and trails, people are out walking their dogs, the birds are back and chirping and flowers are starting to bloom.

The trees in my backyard, in particular the two grapefruit trees are starting to push beautiful white flowers, with a perfume very similar to lilac bushes. The tree itself has effectively stopped producing grapefruit. The lemon trees are still going strong however. The sun is definitively warmer and there is a more obvious dryness to the already dry air. The distinction between shade and sun is clear for the moment.

What a relief from the cold nights of July! I couldn’t believe how cold it got at night. There is no central heating, so for the first time I was going to bed with a sweater and socks.

Off to Nairobi, Maputo and then Montreal starting on Sept 8. In Nairobi, the hotel (Hilton) has internet access. Hopefully, I will be able to post something then. I don’t yet about Maputo.

Seven hour flight Windhoek-Joburg-Nairobi; 5 hours Nairobi-Maputo; 1.5 hours Maputo-Joburg; 16 hours Joburg-New York; 1.5 hours New York-Montreal. I’m not including airport travel and wait times. September is a killer from a travel point of view. I will be so glad to be in Montreal, even for a little bit!

© Frederic Borgatta and Fredericsblog, 2009

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