The temperature is relative!

28 01 2011

I remember when I came home from south America after being there for just under a year and a half.  I spent some time in the country of Paraguay and visited western Brazil a little bit.  It was a tropical rain forest, humid, hot, extremely muggy and the weather was oppressive to say the least.  But all that weather created some of the most natural beauty the mind can possibly imagine and gave me an opportunity to partake in an experience few will ever understand.

The interesting thing is that I come from a place in the United States that contains the last natural rain forest in the country, the Pacific Northwest and found myself in another one of the few rain forest regions in of the world.  In south America the rain forests are tropical and full of exotic life.  I witnessed flocks of parrots flying in nature, monkeys running through the trees in the city with orange, grapefruit and banana trees growing wild all around us.

But what I’m getting at here is the temperature.  Not to mention the humidity!  When it got to be above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and often times it climbed above 110 degrees, there was no escaping the sweltering heat.  I literally felt like we were living in a sauna and we just got used to it.  Our bodies acclimated to the conditions and while they weren’t comfortable, they were survivable and we made the best of our surroundings.  There was no central air or even decent air flow; and the places we lived were made from brick which literally acted like ovens, trapping the heat in the summer time and cooking us while we remained indoors.

But still, being indoors was nothing compared to being in that direct sunlight outside where our exposed skin would immediately feel like we were being placed in a convection oven for baking.  And not more than thirty seconds after that the sweat would begin to pour.  Our bodies would react immediately to the environment and rivers of sweat would begin pouring down our arms, running down our hands like the blood veins you can see in thinner peoples’ skin and drip to the ground off of our fingertips.  This would be a daily experience, and the reason we drank gallons of fluids.

When I returned home from this red and green hotbox of clay and trees it was springtime in the Northwest and the temperatures were around 68 degrees.  Everyone in the town was thrilled with the sun being out and the rising temperatures and broke out the shorts and t-shirts to enjoy the improving weather.

When I got there I found myself needing a jacket and long sleeves.  That’s the thing I found funny.  Nobody could understand how I could be feeling cold, but my core was so used to that oven that I felt as if I were now in a refrigerated environment. It took me a little while to get used to it but I eventually did, although I could never get used to the  dismal rain of the Northwest, the green is lovely.

What made me think of this today is that I am sitting in the local library on the WiFi and it’s a little warm in here.  It’s the middle of winter and we’ve been having some big snow storms and bitter cold.  It’s been below 20 degrees quite often in the last month or so.  I took a break to walk outside without my jacket, into the 40  degree temperature and found it to be refreshing and quite pleasant.  I thought for a moment about moving my workstation outside to enjoy the fresh air and beautiful weather.  Then I remembered that it’s all relative!

Enjoy your environment, it’s all beautiful!

Advertisements

Actions

Information

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




%d bloggers like this: