You know how you feel this Fourth of July week, Minnesotans? Sticky, wet, tired, cranky, exhausted? A Walmart cashier said to me, “I think this heat is making people crabby” after someone yelled at her for forgetting to ring up my watermelon, which in fact, she had not forgotten to do. I don’t want to make you feel bad, this is hot. I feel hot. And sweaty. But I’m still going to ramp it up a bit for you, just for kicks.

So…pull on long pants or a long skirt, a shirt with elbow-length or longer sleeves, drape a full-body length black thin cloak over yourself, put a scarf either on your head or around your shoulders.

Turn off the air conditioner.

Remove most of the shade-giving trees and all of the cool grass.

This is what you can do to your hair using only sweat.

I’m serious, turn off the air conditioner.

You may turn on a fan from 9-12:00 in the morning, 1-5:00 in the afternoon, and 6-7:00 in the evening. Tomorrow you might be able to turn it on all day, depending on the electric company. Here’s to hoping, although the fan pretty much only feels like blowing a hair dryer in your face anyway. For the hours when the fan is off, try not to leave damp handprints on the pages of your book, drip sweat into the lunch you prepare, or attempt to wrap presents. The tape won’t stick.

Try to move as little as possible while teaching English, grocery shopping, house-cleaning, running, overseeing homework, playing football (soccer), cooking, developing small businesses, learning and using a foreign language, and cultivating relationships.

This is what happens to your armpits after sitting (in a room with the a/c on) and putting forth the exertion to talk and breathe.

Forget about that cold shower you’re day-dreaming about. The temperature of your water is solar controlled, meaning by the actual sun. Meaning there is no cold water.

At night, move your entire family into a single bedroom, the floor may resemble one large mattress. This is okay. Go to sleep. Try not to step on anyone or wake anyone up with your headlamp, coughing fit, or middle of the night bathroom jaunt. You may (finally and with great joy) turn the a/c on to sleep but turn it off and on at alternating 1.5 hour intervals throughout the night to ensure no one gets a complete night’s sleep and to ensure that you are all either shivering or sweating.

Now, remind yourself that this is early May.

This is your shirt while drinking cool, fresh fruit slushies, and sitting in the shade.

This is the beginning of the hot season. There will be no ‘cooler’ days until late October, the temperature will only rise for the next six months.

It is going to get hotter and more humid. Until it gets less humid and extremely more hotter. You don’t care that “extremely more hotter” is bad grammar. That’s how you talk when it is 120 degrees, heat index passing 140, you are wearing a black cloak, and no one in your family or nation has slept through the night since April. You say ‘I don’t care’ about a lot of things.

Welcome to Djibouti.

How are you staying cool this steamy summer?