Hot Season

Here in Burkina, hot season typically starts in March and lasts through May. Out of all of the adjustments I have had to make in my new life in Burkina, I am most nervous about my ability to handle hot season. I’m a sweater in the US, so you can only imagine what I’ll be like here. I got a sneak preview last week as temps reached 105 and heard rumors that last year the hot season started early. The secretary at my office mater-of-factly told me this was because of climate change – impressive. Check out the average temps at my site on the graph below, and remember that these are taken in the shade. They seem a bit low, as I’ve heard of temps in the 120’s, but I guess that’s why they’re just averages.

To combat le chaluer I have a few plans:

  1. Construct a hangar, a simple structure made with a few posts and dried grasses to give shade, in front of my house so that my house isn’t covered in sunlight during the day.
  2. Don’t sleep on a bed. Instead I purchased a lipico, similar to a pool lounge chair, but woven (even including an adjustable back), to sleep on. For now I sleep on it inside with a foam pad on top, but think I will move it outside and remove the foam top in a couple of weeks.
  3. Purchase a floor fan. I’m lucky enough to have a ceiling fan inside, but it’s not always enough, and even outside I think I’ll want a fan. Thankfully I even have an outlet outside so I’ll be good no matter where I sleep.
  4. Wear a water-soaked turban on my head. Though it’s amazing how fast things dry in the sun.
  5. Buy that refrigerator that I’ve been dreaming of so I can store cold drinks.

We’ll see how it goes…


4 Responses to “Hot Season”

  1. 1 Peter Hille
    February 25, 2011 at 19:57

    Water! Drink lots of water! Is the humidity low? If it is, drink even more water! The good news is your system will adapt. And it helps if you ignore the Fahrenheit and just think about the temp in Celsius, that way you’ll never know how hot it really is.

    • 2 Scott
      February 27, 2011 at 04:39

      Good tip! Thankfully my mental math is fairly poor, but I know that anything over 40 is just ridiculous…

  2. March 16, 2011 at 02:41

    Along the lines of evaporative cooling, wet a bed sheet (or equivalent sized) piece of fabric and drape it over your sleeping area. I used to drape it over my Bug Hut 2 and sleep outdoors. If there’s a slight breeze it’s helpful, but even without it, it makes the inside of your tent seem like an air-conditioned paradise. Rock on. Hot season is wonderful.

    • 4 Scott
      March 16, 2011 at 06:11

      Ah, this is just like the dessert fridge my father used to make while living in Saudi Arabia, except this time, I’m inside the fridge. I like it! Will try it out tonight and report back. Thanks for the tip.

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