How to Survive Hot Season

Except for a handful of days and random rainshowers, the weather has been over 95 degrees for the past 4 months (and probably over 100 degrees at least half that time). But because of the humidity (which usually hovers over 60%), it feels more like 120 degrees every day. I feel like we were pampered our first two hot seasons in Cambodia. Yes, it was hot and uncomfortable for a few weeks, but the rainy season came early and we didn't suffer too long. But it feels like hot season will never end this year. This past February, we could sense the change in the air. Mornings are no longer enjoyable, and the breeze never cools off. Even the evenings bring little relief, and almost immediately after stepping out of the shower, you're covered in sticky sweat.

So I've compiled a list of six ways to survive hot season in Cambodia. Warning - some of these may be a little TMI {too much information}, but when you're sweating it out, you quickly lose all modesty about stuff like body odor.

1. Use fans and air conditioning liberally whenever possible. 
We've slept in the village with no electricity, happily sat through church services during power cuts, and survived no-breeze and no-A/C situations. But if there's an air-con {Aussie-speak for A/C} in the room, baby, I'm using it. Sleeping without air conditioning is awful.

2. Prepare yourself for the bug invasion.
When the evenings heat up, the bugs come inside. We've had a steady march of ants throughout our house for the past month, despite having no food left out, no dirty dishes, nothing for them to feed on. We've found them crawling inside our water bottles, and one even creeped inside my ear the other night. They also crawl into your drawers and onto towels, so give everything a good shake before you put it on your body. Flying insects also make their presence known, and you might even see something like this slamming itself against the window screen:




3. Shower multiple times a day.
When I sweat in Cambodia, I stink like I've never stunk before - like a hairy construction worker in July. It doesn't matter if I showered before dinner; by bedtime, I'll need another rinse off. If the power goes off, you can also make use of showers by drenching yourself fully dressed, then allowing the weak breeze to lift a little heat off your steaming body while you try to sleep.

4. Eat lots of mangos.
Ok, mangos don't really make you any cooler, but hot season = mango season. I bought 4 mangos for 60 cents the other day and fully enjoyed their sweet juicy flesh. My neighbors give them to me like candy. You can't get that in America.

5. Gold Bond body powder is your friend.
"Gold Bond Powder - Triple Action: Cooling, Absorbing and Itch Relieving." Cooling and absorbing are two absolutely essential elements of surviving hot season. If you don't want to spend four months with rivers of sweat running down your body, put some powder on it.

6. If all else fails, remember - eventually, it ends.
As blistering as hot season can be, it does end - even if it's not for several more months. And just when I feel like I can't endure any more, God sends a rain storm in to cool things off for a few hours. His grace is evident all around us. We just have to keep looking forward to those few blissfully cool weeks in January...

Do you have any suggestions for surviving hot season?
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