Sunday, April 01, 2007

Namibia now on Standard Time

The United States changed to daylight saving time (DST) three weeks ago on March 11th for our spring/summer/autumn months. However, very few countries during the southern hemisphere's summer months observe DST. In fact, Namibia is one of only three countries in Africa (the other two are Egypt and Tunis in the north) that observe it.

However, since they have just entered autumn, they are now actually going off DST. Just to make it confusing though, the Caprivi Strip (that part of Namibia that sticks way out on the northeast) unofficially does not observe DST at all and so will now be on the same time as the rest of the country.

So, while we "sprang forward" one hour, they "fall back" one hour. That means our time difference is now shorter than it has been. For us in Minnesota, we were 8 hours behind Namibia all winter, now we are only 6 hours behind them until September 2 when Namibia returns to DST.

So, what time is it in Namibia? Check the clock on the right.

See these links for more information on the confusing world of DST.

New Era newspaper article about DST

World map of daylight savings time

About Daylight Savings Time

Worldwide Daylight Savings Time

Interesting and confusing facts about DST, time and time zones

Funny post from a former PCV in Namibia. This comes from an email posted by Melanie, a returned PCV (Nam 24) who worked on the Angola border near Eehana:

Time change

I didn't not realize until someone pointed out to me…but Namibia observes Daylight Savings Time. So, as everyone back in the northern hemisphere experienced "spring forward" with time, we "fell backwards" today. It will be funny how many of the learners remember. I must chuckle actually, I tried to find a clock today just to see if anyone actually changed their clocks…couldn't find a single one. But, folks in the village agreed that everyone would change their clocks etc.

Well, that's more than I can say for a colleague of mine. This is probably the funniest story I've heard in a while. We were all hanging out during our week vacation and the topic of Daylight Savings Time came up. Cory piped up and told us about his experience in his village. Apparently during a staff meeting the topic came up and there was a bit of a discrepancy over whether or not they should change their clocks or not. Some of the teachers argued that the learners would just be late everyday if they changed their clocks.

Well, actually they would be an hour early since they were falling back an hour…but that is beside the point…or maybe adds to the humor of the whole thing. Anyway, the principle apparently believed in the spirit of democracy, and decided to put it to a vote. Do they or do they not change their clocks. Well, the vote was tied up 5 for the change and 5 against it. Who knew? So again, the principle being very efficient and democratic, decided to…COMPROMISE! Who woulda thought that something as binary as changing the clocks by 1 hour could be put to a compromise. So, his village has decided to change their clocks by ½ of an hour. The entire country of Namibia will begin school at 8:00…but Cory's village will have been in school for a half an hour already. It is just that crazy around here. It seems as though villages can just make their own rules…why not right?

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