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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wear a water-soaked turban on my head. Though it’s amazing how fast things dry in the sun.
- Buy that refrigerator that I’ve been dreaming of so I can store cold drinks.
We’ll see how it goes…