There’s no denying that it was a very hot summer here in Qingdao. Not the good kind of hot where you lay outside, go for a picnic, or run through the sprinklers. Oh no no no, this was all consuming kind of hot that feels like a sauna you can only escape from with good air-conditioning. The humidity kept the pollution hanging around like blanket of filth. It really was a sad sight on most days… however, all hope is not lost. All that yuckiness has lifted and the skies seem to be consistently blue now.
We are so thankful that summer humidity has lifted and we can now see the skies and mountains now. Here is a look back into some of the hottest days at my summer job during August:
We were lucky when there were less students in class. Ten was just too many on the hot days. With less we were able to spread out, and keep the heat down a little. Here we are learning about the parts of a flower (plants). What a well-behaved bunch of kids.
During some of our breaks we decided to brave the humidity and head outside to play with a ball. These kids seemed to have no concept of the game “piggy-in-the-middle” (South African Readers) or “keep-away” (US Readers). Perhaps it has something to do with ALL OF THEM being part of the one-child-generation, so they have very little concept of losing or sharing. The Chinese lady helping me with the kids told me that the game was unfair, and that the outside children should throw the ball to the kids in the middle. Ummm… that completely defeated the purpose of the game. Oh well, whatever keeps them smiling!
We could never play for more than about 10-15 minutes or we would be dripping with sweat, and drained of energy. Upon returning to the classroom, we would all stand around the fan letting it blow over our faces. This standing fan was all that we had to keep us cool during the 3 hours of class every morning. Imagine our dismay when the electricity started cutting out 3-4 times a day for a stage. As you can see, I gave up even bothering wearing normal clothes because they showed sweat. Dri-fit workout clothes were the only thing that didn’t make me look like I just taken a shower in my clothes. Being a girl who sweats a lot is rather embarrassing when surrounded by people who barely get a few droplets on their forehead.
What’s with the white powder?
Well, along with the heat comes tons of mosquitos, and that means that these poor little kiddos are completely bitten up. in addition to that, all the running around while they are playing results in them break out in nasty heat rash on their face, neck and chest. We rubbed baby powder on them to keep them from itching, and as with everything else, this turned into a game. The girls made themselves, and me, look like cats.
I don’t understand why they want to play in this canopy-shelter, but they absolutely love it. I guess it’s sort of like a fort, and they can move it around easily. Of course, in here they are all sitting huddled together so they sweat like crazy. But still, they love it.
This is Terry. The youngest of the group. He is only 5 years of age and therefore he knew the least English. At the beginning of August he said not one single word of English, but now, four weeks later, he is doing pretty well. The heat hit Terry the worse. Perhaps because he had the most energy and ran around like a crazy person. I would often find him lying on his back (pictured above) on the play-mats, unable to move, and not willing to come to class and study. The heat rash all over him made him irritable and tired. Poor little guy!
Not even lunch-time cheered him up!!
Watermelon worked every time though! If I handed him one slices of it, he was smiling from ear to ear, and ready to study a little. Just a little. I had to barter study hours with slices of watermelon. It worked out for both of us.
Believe it or not. I enjoyed running home from work a couple days a week. Yeah sure, I could have just jumped in a cab and many days I did just that. But surprisingly enough, for me there is something soothing running in very hot weather. I sweat like crazy, and feel so healthy afterwards. I do get very odd looks though because when I say “dripping”… there’s no exaggeration there. I am DRIPPING with sweat and as red as a tomato! I LOVE IT!
The weather is beautiful now, and we have some amazing pictures to share with you. We can’t even begin to tell you the difference blue skies and a breeze make in this city. With our apartment being so high up, on the 24th floor, we are really enjoying the cool winds moving through our home right now.
Thank goodness the worst of summer is over.
Bring on Autumn!