Here I sit. Here I sweat!
My mom always insisted that girls/ladies/women/females don’t ‘sweat’. Sorry mom, but you have not been to Mexico in the summer. And guess what? It is sweat! When every pore on your body begins oozing water – it can no longer be referred to as ‘perspiration’! But what is truly amazing to me is that it seems to be only us ‘northerners’, and not the Mexican people who consistently display this unsightly, sticky, salty phenomenon – no matter what we are doing or wearing! Unless we are wearing ‘white’, those unsightly sweat demarcations leak through our clothes and then we truly do appear ‘hot and bothered’. It’s hard to hide it.
To be fair, we were questioned and then warned repeatedly. “Have you been to Mexico in the summer? No? Well, just you wait!”.
It first rained, slightly, on June 12. Prior to that we experienced some rather unpleasant sensations. The humidity was building daily. The temperatures were above 30 degrees each day, and with the added humidity the local weather station indicated temperatures that felt more like the high 30’s – that’s celsius – above zero. (This would be in direct contrast to the minus 30 degrees celsius that we frequently experience back home in Alberta – temp plus windchill factor!). Since then it has rained off and on during the late afternoon and at night. There has been lots of cloud cover, near 100% humidity where the air feels like a hot mist surrounding every part of one’s anatomy. Even the breeze at the top of the hill is stiflingly torrid. Thank heavens for the pool! A saving grace is that with the heavy rain there is often a noticeable drop in temperature – if only for a short while.
Summer also apparently brings unannounced electrical ‘brown-outs’. So far we have experienced two of these, luckily only lasting three hours each. Overuse of refrigeration, fans, and air con seem to contribute to these inconveniences. Most people who live here simply consider them to be an inconvenient but expected part of life. We have been somewhat ‘freaked’ by the thought of frozen food melting, refrigerator food spoiling, scooping cistern or pool water to flush toilets, no fans, no lights, etc. However, we are very fortunate to have met several wonderful expats who constantly talk us (or me – my husband is actually quite calm about most things!) down and explain that ‘this too, will pass’.
In addition, there have been the fires. We are told that much burning of grass, dead trees, leaves, crop debris, etc takes place in the weeks prior to the rainy season. Smoke rises, right? Well, when you live at the top of the hill you can enjoy smoke from both sides. (Cough, cough!)
As I explained to Allyson, the ‘honeymoon phase’ of our summer adventure in Mexico is beginning to wane. Who knows what strange conjectures Camille will conjure up for next week. Until then…
P.S. It is now July 12 (one month later). The rainy season is here. We are surrounded by various hues of luscious green color. The fields are planted and growing. The corn is already 10 to 15 inches high. The hills are green. The trees are leafed out with new growth. Mangoes, pineapple, tunas (fruit from the cactus), and lychee fruit are everywhere. All manner of ground cover is springing forth from the previously parched earth. Different flowers are appearing. Different birds are a-flying. There is no more smoke! It’s a whole new world. The other night the rain began just before sunset. It poured for a few hours. Because there was no lightning this time, I decided to jump into the pool on the roof. It was raining buckets of warm water while I floated in the pool of sun-warmed water. It doesn’t get much better than this!
P.S.S. It is now the beginning of August (nearly two months later). Also a noticeable change is to the islands in the bay – they are no longer gray but also a lucious shade of green. And the corn is now more like three feet high. We watched a little ole grandpappy, bent over and hardly able to walk plant each little kernel with a long pole with a sharp metal digging ‘tool’ attached to the end. He wore a makeshift bag that carried his seeds. His field is a simple town lot on the very steep hillside just below us. The corn has grown so fast with all the rain and hot weather. The little ole grandpappy regularly checks on his corn field.
Camille, who wishes to remain anonymous, just moved to La Peñita and has been writing about her experiences. She is using the pseudonym (nom de plume) Camille – just because she likes it – and has titled her stories “Camille’s Conjectures”. According to the Cambridge Dictionaries On-line, the definition of conjecture is “(the forming of) a guess about something based on how it seems and not on proof”, which seems to fit her muses quite nicely, seeing that these are her impressions and not necessarily based on “facts”.
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