Over all, Niger is a pretty hot place to live. In December the nights get down in the 50's and we call it cold. But if every month is "hot", May has to exceed them all on the misery scale. Even the Nigeriens are miserably hot and the favorite greeting after the usual, "How are you?" is "How is the heat?" The response is that it's really hot or a resigned, "It's the season for it."
Right now it is 5:20 p.m. and it is 108 degrees according to the internet. I'm guessing it was over 110 at the heat of the day. And this morning when I got up at 5 a.m., the internet said it was 90 degrees. As you can see, it never gets truly cool during the month of May.
Butter that you forgot to put back in the fridge when you went to church is a liquid blob when you come back three hours later.
Birthday candles refuse to stand up straight. (Notice the two candles under "Happy" on our friend Mike's birthday cake.)
Overhead fans move the hot air around and offer a little relief. We have air conditioners in our bedrooms that we use at night, but no cooling in the rest of the house. There is an evaporative cooler in my office, but it just adds to the humidity that has been increasing so we don't usually turn it on.
All over town, people are running air conditioners and fans and sometimes the power grid just can't handle it all and the power cuts are more frequent. A couple of weeks ago the power was off for four hours Saturday night and three hours Sunday night. We had candles on in the house, but we were out on the terrace with a battery lamp and flashlights hoping against hope to feel some kind of cool breeze. Sahel Academy seems to have more frequent power cuts than anybody and it is not unusual to go over there in the afternoon and see classes being conducted outside....sure it's hotter outside than in, but at least the air moves outside.
Every day we look at the sky, hoping to see clouds, praying for the first cooling, refreshing, reviving rain of the season. In fact, if you want to hope along with us, here is a fun website to look at. Just click on the underlined print and it should take you right to the sight. If you see dark red over Niger, that is probably rain.
In the meantime God's Word, as always, is an encouragement. These are some of our favorite hot season verses:In case you can't read that, it is: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that send sout its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." Jeremiah 17:7 & 8
Please pray for us during the rest of this month and into June. It is really hard to be kind and patient to each other when it is so hot. Tempers run short because every body is over tired. Then we have the stress of packing up to return to the USA for home assignment coupled with the busy-ness of ending our jobs well and getting ready for Suzanne's graduation added to the heat. We're doing ok, but we do need your prayers.