Monday, November 03, 2008

Heated perspective

We loaded up the car on Sunday morning and drove to Francistown. Despite a number of trips to various garages, no one has been able to fix the air con on the old bakkie so we had a pretty hot 5+ hour trip. I arrived with a headache, as happens sometimes on the really hot trips. Our new place is also without air con so I didn't actually get a chance to have my body cool off properly. Yesterday, it was another scorcher. We got a mini-fridge and arrived home to plug it in by 3PM. As of the time we went to bed, it was so hot in the room that the fridge hadn't successfully reached cold yet. Still, we filled it with water bottles and hoped for cold water in the morning (the cold tap was producing hot water now, just from external temp). By 6:30PM, I was fully lethargic and had to lay down for the rest of the evening. I knew I was drinking enough water but just couldn't seem to get on top of the whole temperature thing. I checked and I was a degree above where I should be, though not at externally induced fever yet so I didn't worry. It was a long, sticky night.

This morning, still feeling groggy and achy, I began to get a bit concerned about how my body was taking the heat so poorly. Here we are, in a room for the next month that I can't seem to control the temperature of. I had heard from locals and expats alike that this past year was a very mild year temperature-wise, that we hadn't truly tasted the heat yet. Was this the heat they were talking about? What if I couldn't handle it, as I hadn't been able to handle it the last couple of days? I pulled myself together and went with Rob to the Kalanga Bible Translation Office as he had a meeting to discuss upcoming vernacular media projects in preparation for their upcoming New Testament + Psalms launch in early 2009. When we sat down with the Kalanga team, Portia mentioned that she wasn't feeling well. I commiserated with her. After the meeting, when Rob and I were in another office catching up on our internet things, Portia came in and commented on the heat of yesterday. She said that it had been 42℃ (yes, that's more than 107℉!) outside and 44℃ inside (over 111℉). Yikes! She said that it had been so hot that she couldn't move and that it had never been this hot in her life. I guess temps in the 40s are not unusual in late December but for it to be so hot in November was a real shocker for her. Which made me feel better. So, it's not that I'm somehow defective and can't take the heat like everybody else – everybody else was miserable too. Which doesn't help me with handling the heat. It just makes me feel better about my weaknesses, that it's just part of being a human being in roasting temperatures.

1 comment:

Ali said...

WOW! That's what the temps were like the first time that we arrived in Tamale in Jan. 2007. I thought I was never going to survive. Alas, there are many night where I am snuggled under the blanket or have a cup of hot something in the morning. You know, those times where it's a chilly 78 degrees! It's been a long time since I've said "hey" so I thought I would find your blog and do a little catchin' up. Hope that all is well. Congrats on the permanent assignment.

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