Sweaty in Tete(y?)

You know it’s hot when your body is keenly aware of a 2˚ shift in the weather.

Somehow, waking up to a day that will only be 103˚ is refreshing. The air from the fan at the foot of the bed blows a little cooler in the morning, making sleeping past 7 am pleasant. The plastic chairs in the kitchen don’t retain as much heat and sitting in them is bearable. Sweat doesn’t drip as immediately when you enter a building or stand still, garnering fewer concerned stares from Mozambicans. Afternoons are noticeably more active as Chitimans venture off their shaded esteiras a little earlier. Sunset actually brings a cool breeze.

And days that only hit 100˚? Don’t even get me started. Anything under 99˚ would be a dream come true at this point…it doesn’t drop below 90˚ until after 10pm. My thick Iowa blood may be thinning every day, but the Midwest did not prepare me for this part of my Peace Corps service.image

Summer is heating up here in Tete and every day is a new adventure. Which one of my notebooks makes the best fan? How long can I run my actual floor fan until it burns out? Can I shove 8.5 liters of water into my dorm-sized fridge all at once? Will that last me through the day? If I go to bed draped in a wet capulana, will I sleep through the night?

(For the inquisitive minds out there, the answers to those questions are: my small black notebook, I’m not pushing my luck, yes, no, and technically 3 am is morning.)

I’ll tell you what, I sure am learning a lot.

It’s not all bad, however. The lazy heat also means a lot of time sitting around with friends and neighbors, talking and laughing over cold beers to pass the time and the high temps of the day. It means reading books in a hammock in the shady breeze of my veranda. It means striking up conversations with strangers, because at least we can commiserate together. It means exploring new wardrobe combinations as I mix and match clothing throughout the day for cooler, less sweat-soaked options.

So, tonight, before you go to bed, give your air conditioner a big hug and tell it that you love it. It may just be the best friend you never knew you had.

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