It’s been really hot here lately. I mean, it’s always hot here, but it’d been especially hot lately. Everyone in town seems to be commenting on the heat more than usual. People from the US often ask me how hot it is here. But I’m not sure what the temperature is because there are no thermometers around here or signs that tell us what the temperature is.
I have never been able to find the information online either. When you search online for El Salvador weather you either get info on San Salvador, Santa Ana, or San Miguel. Though San Miguel is the closest it’s also further down in elevation which makes it hotter there than up here in Berlín by about 10 degrees F. For example, tomorrow it is suppose to reach 40C (104F) in San Miguel so it will probably be around 94F here. Of course, that’s not taking into account the humidity. I would say it’s normally in the 80s here during the day, but right now it’s been mostly in the low and mid-90s during the day.
The kids at school have been a bit sluggish these past few days and I can’t say I blame them. For the second day in a row I felt like I could have gone to sleep during my 3rd period class of the day. I sit down at the teacher’s desk and I know if I laid my head down I would be out like light in 10 seconds. Despite the heat the kids have all been doing well lately and I haven’t had any major problems. Remember, there’s also no air-conditioning and almost everyone walks to school. If they’re coming from my direction there’s a big hill they have to climb. I try to walk as much as I can in the shade and I’ve started carrying a bandana with me to school so I can wipe all the sweat off my face when I arrive (carrying small towels for that purpose is very common here).
Today is the day that I spend an hour+ at the physical therapy clinic here in Berlín. They don’t do physical therapy when I’m there on Fridays because it’s group time. During the time that I’m there I’ll be helping out with kids who have mental disorders. It was like a sauna inside today because there’s no air circulation. Only a few kids showed up and I wondered if it was due to the heat. One of the moms looked really tired so I was glad she had some time to sit and rest.
Although my brain was a bit fried from the heat by the time I got home I did have several good ideas/was able to help to help Kathy with a few things. My greatest idea was about what to drink. I walked into Kathy’s office and saw she was drinking ice water. She commented that when she drinks water with ice you know it must be hot outside. She said it was even too hot for coffee. Here’s what happened next:
“No ice coffee?” – Alisha
“Gasp!” – Kathy, with eyes wide opened
“Genius!” – Alisha, referring to myself
I thought that counted as my good deed for the day.
Not long after that I made a trip uptown to buy some candy. Kathy bought a piñata for Cecilia’s birthday tomorrow and we needed candy to fill it. I usually like walking to town because it gets me outside walking and I like to people watch. But today it felt like the sun was burning my skin as I walked to town. As compensation for buying the candy Kathy said I could get a double-scoop of ice cream on her. Woo hoo! When I got to the ice cream store Sonia (the ice cream lady) mentioned how hot out it was. Yes indeed. And the mango and tamarind flavored ice cream I got helped cool me down.
When I got home I saw Andrés painting outside. He has been painting the house for a couple days now and doing a little electrical work. Today I commented that I was really warm and that he must be even warmer since he’s outside all day. He told me he’s gotten accustomed to the heat. Even so, it’s still not a job I’d want to have, especially considering the pay. Thankfully, the ladies here pay well for odd jobs like this.
Around 4:00pm I began to feel even hotter and very sweaty. I took a dump shower to cool off. It’s days like this that I’m even more grateful I have easy access to cool, clean water. It was just what I needed to keep going the rest of the day. I’m looking forward to slipping between the sheets and saying goodnight to the world.