Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Here's What's Happening in My Neck of the World

The heat has been unbearable. Usually in late October we have experienced some cooler weather, relatively speaking of course, by this time of year. Unfortunately this year has been extremely hot. Not only has it hit 40 C a few times in the past week, it is impossible to breathe. The air consists of the black cloud (stagnant pollution) and dust which creates a miserable yellow haze that stays all day, without any breeze to blow it out of the city.  At night there is the smell of fields burning, which the farmers were not supposed to be doing anymore, but I guess it just is not enforced.

Some sort of ILI (influenza-like illness) has gripped the school where I am working.  Yesterday we sent home eight students with fevers in the high school alone. Today we had a drop to three students going home ill. I was relieved, however, I know with the intense heat this time of year and lack of air circulating, germs don't move.  There are air conditions at the school - each classroom is equipped with its own air conditioner. However, one of my daughter's teacher told the class that leaving the air conditioning on during class promotes swine flu. Maybe if one was on an airplane and continued to inhale recirulated air for hours on end, then yes, it is possible. But nothing in Egypt is air tight. As far as I am concerned, it is more sanitary than breathing the thick yellow haze.

There is no autumn in Egypt. The weather moves from summer to winter overnight. I am waiting. The winter in Cairo feels like November in the Washington, DC area without the snow, rain, and frost.

In order to stay healthy, I am taking every precaution.  I wash my hands all the time - more than usual, wipe my desk and computer with disinfectant wipes, and try to get enough rest, take my vitamins and eat healthy. I also read online that eating raw lemons or drinking apple cider vinegar boosts the immune system. I love lemons, but it must be with a lot of sugar. So I think I will try the apple cider vinegar. I am addicted to vinegar these days; actually it is the imported pickles that is feeding my addiction these days.



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