Deep freeze

BY Javon Johnson Holland

VN Special Writer


This freezing winter weather is challenging some UDM students.

“It’s really hard to adapt,” said Olanzo Palmer, 19.

Palmer is from Mandeville, Jamaica, where it is in the 70s and 80s this week.

“I’m not used to the cold weather,” said Palmer.

Akalel Hail, 22, can relate somewhat.

Hail, a UDM senior, is originally from Egypt.

“Technically, I was 5 years old when I saw snow for the first time,” said Hail. “I always went outside and played in the snow. Over the years I got used to the weather. (But) it is a lot warmer in Egypt. A person who hasn’t lived in colder climates will have a tough time living here because the weather in Egypt is hot.”

Though he prefers Michigan summers, a little winter isn’t bad, he said.

“The gentle snow is always good here,” Hail said.

Charlene Peck, 19 of Grosse Pointe is used to this kind of weather.

“I try not to think about how cold it is,” she said. “I just try to ignore the cold pretty much. It can be horrible, since Michigan weather changes a lot and it takes a while to warm up.”

She said people from warmer areas of the country need to be prepared because weather here is unpredictable and the winds make it worst.

“Get boots that aren’t for fashion,” she said. “Salt will destroy your shoes and they will get soggy.”

Freezing temperatures aren’t new to Ansel Haley, either.

But “it is freaking cold,” said the 19-year-old. “It’s hard to go to classes in the morning.”

Haley has bounced around a bit. He was born in Michigan and resided awhile in Texas, but mostly lived in Maine until moving back to Michigan.

He said the weather in Maine was decent because he lived near the Atlantic Ocean, which made the cold easier to accept. But this winter has tested him.

“I do miss the scenery,” said Haley

Roman Yatsyshyn, 21, misses Ukraine, the European country from which he comes.

“The weather is unpredictable (here),” he said. “Over in the Ukraine you know when the weather is coming. Here the winter doesn’t stop until April.”

In one of the worst winter storms he has experienced here, his car got stuck in the snow. It was late.

“My car got minor damages and it was a long ride,” he said. “Thankfully, I made it home.”

Yatshyshyn lived in a village in the Ukraine.

 “I can’t do much here,” he said. “I used to go with a friend to the forest to collect berries and mushrooms. The forests in Ukraine aren’t restricted as they are over here.”

Extreme cold poses a high risk because of frostbite and hypothermia.

Yussef Ismail from Lebanon knows this firsthand.

“I got my face burned in the cold weather,” Ismail said. “One time I got frostbite. I just started covering my face and wore gloves.”

He has gotten more used to the weather.

“The freezing point was like death to me,” he said. “Every day I have to boil some ginger water to help me warm up in the cold.”

Olivia Koh is from Kansas, where snow is not uncommon.

“Sometimes we had snow,” she said. “But even when it was bad there, it was like a warm day here. And over in Kansas we easily got days off.”

Still, the weather here hasn’t turned her off on the city.

“I love Detroit,” she added. “It isn’t the safest place but Detroit is beautiful and has some real people. I love it here.”