After dark on the terrace, enjoying the cooling though not cool night breeze and the swarm of bugs around my light. We should be seeing less of those around now, but unseasonable rains have kept them in business. We went through what should have been the start of the dry season weeks ago, when trucks turned up seas of dust to wade through, eyes slitted and lips tight.
But each evening shower that’s damped the dust has brought the bugs and the humidity. Jalpan sits at one end of a long valley of hot weather growing things. Which means that when they get rain, they hold onto it, dispensing it back into the air not over days but over weeks. Each drizzle pays back an hour of relief with half a month of swelter.
Heat is a common denominator for volunteers. There are some in Eastern Europe and others in more mountainous sites than mine that escape it, but for the rest of us, even those of us here in Posh Corps Mexico, heat is a constant. I arrived at the start of Jalpan’s only prolonged cool, between late November and early January. Even then, we only escaped under cloud cover. If the twelfth day of Christmas saw sun, it was a scorcher. Our recent little rains have let us think that it might not be so bad, that claims might be exaggerated, that campesinos who aren’t pegged to weather.com might not have a great conception of what 115° is and just mean ‘real hot.’
But we’re getting into it now, the sun creeping across the bedsheets at six like the sand map from Raiders and the opening-the-ark light of the outside door at nine. We’re feeling the lingering ovenlike warmth of our apartments into the long hours of the night and the permanent dampness of a bed that won’t dry and a body that won’t stop sweating.