Summer has commenced here and me-oh-my this heat is no joke. With temperatures topping out around 120 most days we have to refrigerate even our emergency candles so they don’t melt. And it’s not the sort of heat that is counterbalanced by very cool nights. I mean, the nights are cooler, but they are still darn-tootin hot. When we checked the temperature the other night around 5:30pm it was still 110 degrees.
True, it is a dry heat. For now. Humidity will come in a few weeks with some rain. Humid or not though, the heat is debilitating in a way I had not expected. By afternoon my energy is sapped. I kind of sluggishly get through, and it seems to be that way for everyone. Many locals take a long sleep in the afternoon, so that they can be up to do their visiting and socializing after the sun has gone down. Smart folks.
The sweating never stops, and I drink more water than I ever have before. Copious amounts. This is weird too—because of all the sweating my body is losing lots of salt, right? The more salt your body needs the less you can taste it, which I didn’t know before. So I end up putting copious amounts of salt on my food, just so I can taste it. How cool is that, that your body has its own way of making sure it is getting the salt it needs?
One learns quickly to situate oneself in the shade. Not just because you could very well bake while standing in the sun, but also because most likely a kind hearted local will greet you and ask you why you are standing in the sun or will tell you to stand in the shade if you stop even briefly in the sun. You can also tell when getting on a bus that’s not completely full which side the sun is going to shine in on the most along the route. Always choose the side where there are more people—they know what they’re doing when it comes to avoiding sunlight.
What is it like riding on a bus or in a car during the day? The moving air feels nice, but the air is hot. I heard someone compare it to putting a blow dryer by your face, and I have to say that is a pretty fair comparison. Actually, it is pretty spot on.
I do say this all kind of tongue in cheek. The heat is crazy and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, but seriously from the bottom of my heart there is nowhere else I would rather be. I still can’t believe I get to live here and experience all of this and work with street boys and do stuff like explain to my neighbor what Easter is about because she had no idea. I get to wake up every day in a land far, far away. It really seems too good to be true. You who are reading–it is your shoulders I stand on and you who make it possible. Thank you, thank you.