Yesterday we had a heat wave.
I grew up in Kerala and I remember one summer ( 1982) we had 17 hours of load shedding. My classroom didn’t have a fan and imagine wearing a petticoat and under skirt beneath the school uniform and sitting in a hot and stuffy classroom all day.. and then in the evening we all had to walk back home and even at home there was no escape from the heat because of the load shedding !( no fan, no ice water, no nothing..)
But life still went on.
Day before yesterday there was a notice from my children’s school that all outdoor activities are cancelled the next day because of the impending heat wave. I kept few blocks of ice packs in their lunch bag, froze their drinking water ( if you keep the bottle in an angle in the freezer and the mouth of the bottle isn’t closed with ice, the water will melt in the mouth side and the kids get cold water for a very long time! The idea is not to let the mouth of the bottle close with ice, then the kids can’t get the melted water from the bottom of the bottle) and I send the kids to school. Their classrooms are air-conditioned and the teachers know how to handle heat stress !
As I was driving to the school, I noticed that my neighbour was getting someone to build a retaining wall with huge boulders. The worker was unloading the boulders from the truck using a small fork lift. On-board display in my car showed the outside temperature was 27 degrees. What a day to work outside!, I thought.
The school car park was unusually empty. I learned later when I went to pick up my kids that half the kids in their class didn’t come because of the heatwave.
As we drove back home, I noticed the same guy who was unloading the boulders in the morning was still working. He had almost finished building the retaining wall. The temperature outside was 39 degrees. For 8 hours, this guy was working, wearing his full safety gear including the helmet.
I asked my children if they noticed that he was working outside on a hot day when he could have said, “It is too hot today and I will do the work tomorrow”
My son said ” We never appreciate the hard work all these people do”
I nodded my head.
I am sure most of you who work in the Middle East agree..
As for the over protective parents who ‘grow’ their children in glass bubbles.. I worry what will happen when the children finally leave the glass bubbles..