The Heat in Africa

Here in Botswana, summer is just arriving and it is already HOT.  Last week was a really hot one.  Most days got up into three digits.  On the hottest day the temperature got up to 104 degrees.

Being from Georgia we are somewhat used to heat.  It gets in the 90’s  every now and then, with high humidity, and we survive.  What makes it more challenging about Summer in Botswana is the homes are not air conditioned.  Which means in the heat of Summer there is no relief.  You sit in your hot office until quitting time, then go outside into the blazing heat and walk a mile or more to your home.  Once at home, there is no relief.  Your house, which has been shut up tight, is hot inside.

You can see our local forecast in the panel to the right  ===>        

Our strategy for dealing with it includes drinking a lot of water.  I wear my hat all the time when outside and apply sunscreen often.  We have two fans that we use to cool us in the house. One in the living room and one in the bedroom.  The fans help a little, unless the power goes off, which is a regular occurrence lately.  Cooking in the kitchen raises the temperature a little, so we try to keep the door to the kitchen closed while the oven is on.

The worst thing is trying to sleep in the heat.  At night it cools down some, but we have to keep our windows closed to keep the mosquitoes (and burglars) out, so it stays stuffy in the house.  On the hottest nights, we go to bed with a wet rag nearby to put on our bodies.  As the water evaporates in the breeze from the fan, it cools us a little, and we hopefully go to sleep.

I did some research on how to sleep in the heat and found two good web sites with some good advice that I am going to try out.  The web sites are “6 Tips to Sleep in the Heat“, and “How to Sleep in the Heat“.

Our Peace Corps friends in the northern part of the country have already experienced 110 degrees and it will get worse.  I am told that when the rainy season comes it will give some relief.

The only good thing about the hot summers in Botswana is that they use Centigrade temperature here, which means that if it is 100 degrees (F), and I ask my coworker how hot it is, he replies that it is 38 degrees, which makes me feel just a little bit cooler.

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