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Africa Scorching Heat and Locals Just Endure

You cannot know a negative, often locals endure many small problems, unaware that on the other side of the planet people have solved the problem.

Wed, 12 Dec 2012 01:15:42

Africa Scorching Heat and Locals Just Endure

It just seems strange to me that humans often deny they are hot, cold, uncomfortable, or being tortured. I am being tortured by the heat here in Ivory Coast, and my girlfriend even thinks I am crazy because I am searching for a cheap way of managing the heat. People never know they are suffering until they are told, or they accidentaly find another way of living.

Roof sleeping

She wants me to endure it, and I am looking for solutions, I am told that December, January, and February are dry hot months in Ivory Coast. Many people want to avoid the rain; personally, the rainy season here is more enjoyable.

I was telling Tony, a man from Ghana who is part of the local N’zema immigrant colony here,
“Tony, people in Iraq sleep on the roof.”

Here is a link to photos:

Tony has never seen a person sleeping on the roof, this is not in his mental inventory of options. He, we, I, or the human race can only utilize the ideas in their personal inventory of options. My person inventory is bursting with ideas, and options, therefore I suffer, while my friend Tony, and Bah happily accept their lifestyle, I am the one with a problem, not them.

List of Ways to Sleep on a Scorching Hot Night
- This is only for the Quartier France, on the other side of the village of Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast. The citizens of Imperial have other percentages.

(1 Percent) Air Conditioning (This cost more here than the person makes in one day, so truly is not an option, but a dream. Africans are not foolish enough to work when they do not need to work.)

(70 percent) Sleep in a concrete room, with a steel roof in front of the fan. This is how my Hotel room is situated, and the majority of people live this way, because we have privacy, and theft is stopped, we sacrifice comfort in exchange for privacy, and because we own things of value.

(3 Percent) Sleep in concrete rooms, with concrete ceilings, and concrete roofs, on the first floor with a second floor above them.

(26 Percent) Sleep in a house with extremely porous, or thin wall, that allow the room to cool down quickly after the sun sets.

Other ways people manage the heat:

1. Do not try to sleep until maybe 12 midnight, when it is cooler.

2. Drink until you are drunk, and then fall asleep drunk.

I am American, and a white guy in West Africa, I am presently living in the Hotel Las Palmas, there are rooms with Air Conditioning, but the cost goes from 10 dollar per night to 20 dollars per night. If I am going to pay another 300 dollars per month, then why not fly to Kenya, where it is cooler because of a higher elevation at 1300 meters, or North to Morocco where winter is creeping down from Europe, it is the month of December?

My 10 dollar room is safe from theft, I can sleep inside with my girl in privacy, but it does not have a concrete ceiling, and there is a greenhouse effect. It takes until about midnight for the building to cool, and during the day, if the fan is not blowing directly on you, it is miserable.

I despise the noise of a fan, and truly do not like air conditioning, it is a strain on my body to enter and leave cool rooms, and the process of acclimating 5-10 times per day is stressful. And, the breathing of recycled air, stagnant, and full of mold, dust, or pollutants inside the AC unit causes me headaches. When I am the person that owns the AC, then life is better, but only about 2 percent of Hotels set up their AC properly, and this includes Five Star, recycles air is not healthy.

The overall feeling that is best is when I am in a room, and it is cool enough to sleep without a fan. Which, is one reason I enjoy living on Lake Atitlan in Guatemala at 1500 meters elevation, there is no need for AC or furnaces. The cost of furnaces and air conditioning is about 15-35 percent of the cost of living on planet earth, it is a staggering amount of money to pay.


This photo above from Niger, West Africa is great option, unless it rains, then oops, you are screwed. It works in the Sahara or sub-Sahara areas because it seldom rains.

Contrary to mythical, often anal beliefs by white people from Europe and America, the Ivory Coast people seldom use mosquito nets, they are too hot, instead they use a fan to stop mosquitoes, by lying in front of the fan, and the mosquitoes are not capable of landing on their body.

I put a big piece of mosquito netting over my window, and sprayed the room with insect spray to kill all the mischievous critters hanging in corners, and below the bed, or behind the curtain.

Therefore, I am the rather insane white person lying in front of fan, with no mosquitoes, in a concrete room, that does not become comfortable until about 1:00 am in the morning.

To stay inside the room during the day is miserable, I must walk around often to allow my body to breath, and recuperate from the obnoxious heat.

It is intriguing to me, I am quite positive, 99 percent of readers are saying to themselves, I do not need to tolerate this type of living because I am living in the USA. But you do, when I return to the USA, it is amazing what people have to tolerate, they often cannot leave the house without tons of clothing because of the cold, they live in a constant battle with cold weather and call it natural.

The whole world fights the heat, or the cold, there are a few places on the planet with great climates.

There are people all over the planet that work eight hours per day, so they can live in a house with AC and Heat. Never once thinking, I could stop working if I did not have this house and car.

It is amazing how little the people here in Ivory Coast work, they truly have the good life.

I am looking for a room with concrete ceilings, surrounded by shade trees, close to the ocean for a breeze, for 10 USD per night. Or I can migrate to Kenya or Ethiopia where the elevation make living cooler. I do not own a house, I do not rent by the month, and I do not need to endure any hardships, only temporary ones until I figure out a solution.

Life is Good!
Andy Graham in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast
December 2012