Aug 022015

DSC_4453While the actual numbers regarding July temperatures do not scream hot to many, it is one of the hottest July’s on record in Santiago de Cuba.

This is a colonial town, there are no trees. The homes, built of heat radiating concrete, sit side by side, wall to wall, and the streets are narrow and treeless. Plaza Jose Marti and Plaza Cepedes were once a respite from the sun until hurricane Sandy ripped the trees from the ground.

DSC_5274Breakfast is outside in the shade of the two story wall that separates neighbors, fans are running on high, but it is still cool enough to enjoy coffee and conversation.

Sadly the breezes ignore Santiago in the morning.

Lunch is served at around 1:00, there are 11 of us sitting in various positions around the table and the kitchen, with six fans doing their best to keep us cool.

Once the dishes are washed and until around 6, everyone is sitting and doing nothing. I read, the kids are watching TV, but for most everyone else, staring at each other or a siesta seems to suffice for entertainment in this heat.

Three rooms in this house have air-conditioning and all 11 of us are in those three rooms. Unfortunately, my room is not my favorite place during these times. There is no glass in Cuba to speak of, so everyone’s windows are covered in steel hurricane slats, while it keeps the house “cooler” it lacks the natural sunlight and view that makes idleness so much easier for me to endure. Yes the slats open, but that takes away the advantage of having a very expensive air-conditioning unit in your room.

DSC_5256By 5:30 or 6:00 the breezes begin to pick up and everyone heads outside.