Heat Wave. We had one at this time last year in Ukraine. We wilted, like the gardens all around us. It was so hot the sunflowers turned brown. Some 20 hearty souls attended a "Know Your Rights” meeting in the nearby village of Chmyrovka, fanning themselves with the new informational booklet NGO Victoria had just printed. Vera Flyat, Victoria's director, said the weather kept many folks away, but the new booklet came in handy!
I also remember driving to and from Lugansk to buy books for the Library, filled with gratitude for the Peace Corps Partnership Grant that made it possible. This gratitude did not cool us off, however. It was over 100 degrees F, about 43 celcius. The old car was blowing hot air on us at the same time, literally almost scorching us to death. I had to keep my feet up on the seat to prevent burning. The driver looked straight ahead without a word and without turning his head right or left. We sat silent all the way. An almost two-hour trip. We stopped once when the car overheated (it actually felt cooler outside the car, a welcome relief), and once for water. I don’t know how we survived, but I was told later that putting on the heater kept the engine cooler. Couldn’t say the same for the human passengers, whose stoicism was remarkable.
Heat wave. The title of a few books, a musical group, several songs, poems, lots of artwork. I googled "heat wave" and learned how vast the subject is, like any other subject, how multi-layered, how one thing leads to another, how a subject radiates out in circles like a pebble tossed into the water. I learned more than I needed to know probably, but it’s endlessly fascinating.
Heat wave. Some of us actually don’t mind it. At least we can tolerate the heat. Some, like my daughter Elissa and sister Andy, have never acclimated to heat. They can barely function when it’s as hot as it is now. Too hot to do anything. Lucky for many of us we have air conditioning. We can stay put and drink lots of water, especially important for the elderly and the sick. This isn’t so in Ukraine, and in many places on earth, where the only relief comes from age-old remedies like cold towels on foreheads, a splash in a river, and maybe, every once in a while, fans. The death rate from heat is also higher.
Heat Wave, from www.communicatrix.com/heatwave