Shengliver’s Note: This entry was written and posted on my MSN space back in 2006. That time of the year a drought was affecting my city. This year a longer severer drought has been with my province since last winter. Luckily we haven’t experienced extreme temperatures up to now. My lifestyle has stayed more or less the same since the entry was written. I still get up early in the morning and do my morning studies in the office. My living and working conditions have been bettered a great deal. I do my morning studies on the computer. Both the office and the classroom are air-conditioned. The kids no longer suffer from a steaming room in summer. When the temperature is too high or too low, they will turn on the machines.


This drought has lasted over a month, and there has been no rainfall at all for the past 20 days or so. As a result, thermometer readings have been climbing higher and higher. Normally around this time of year we have plenty of rain, with cool temperatures. Finally, on June 19, 2006, the air temperature reached a record high42 degrees Celsius, according to the city meteorological service. The last high was 40 something some decades ago.


On June 19, Monday, I had to teach in the last two periods in the morning. I felt a bit hot in the office even with the air conditioning on. The instant I stepped into the classroom, sweat started running all over. Each class has about 70 students and there are only four electric fans in the room. Each body was a radiator. Some students clustered around under each of the four fans, while those who couldn’t enjoy the cool kept fanning themselves with a book or a folding fan. It was clear that everybody was suffering. They suffered more than I did. I stayed in my office before and after my teaching; they had to stay in this steaming cell from 6 am to 10 pm. Poor kids.


I was doing fine for the first 10 minutes or so when I felt something was going wrong. Sweat kept running profusely and a weakness crept over me. My stomach felt empty and my legs started to shake and rebel. Soon I found myself sitting down on the stool at the podium desk. My students and I were still discussing some thorny points of the reading passage but occasionally I had to make a painful effort to respond. I had to think hard. And my response was slow. A simple task had turned so burdensome, almost exhausting me.


Luckily I got through the third period. After a 10-minute break my work resumed in the other class. Things were even worse in this other classroom because the room had only a front door and there was no back door at all. Some students had their head resting upon the desk, while listening to me. I couldn’t find any more strength to stand on my feet, so I had to be sitting there all the while, talking and discussing with the class. Towards the end of the session, I could not think clearly. Was I fainting?


At last the bell rang announcing the end of the morning classes. The teens rushed out into the open air. Having collected my books and notes, I sluggishly walked out and back into my office. I stayed there for a while, drinking some water, enjoying the cool air and gradually feeling a bit better.


At the lunch table, I ate and drank like a horse. And some iced beer helped to restore my senses back to normal. Thank God! Please bring some rain upon us.


June 20 passed without rain, the sun beating down upon the city and scorching all the creatures.


It is June 21, 2006 today. I got up early as usual. It was overcast and the air was permeated with the smell of rain. When I was walking to the office, raindrops started falling. A bolt of lightning, then thunder, more lightning, more rumbling of thunder. By the time I arrived at the office, a full-scale downpour had started.


Power was cut off in the neighbourhood. It was dim in the office but I managed to finish the morning reading amidst the raging storm. Time for my breakfast. My walk to the canteen was a pleasure. The rain was all the time coming down in torrents. The coolness of the moist air, the pitter-patter of raindrops on the umbrella, the swaying branches, and everything else, so nice! Cats and dogs, it is raining!


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