In case you live under a rock, or just don’t live in the same great state as me, today’s weather was ridiculous. Ridiculously hot. Word on the street is that it was 103 today – the hottest we’ve had it here since 1988.
This morning when I heard temps were expected at 100, my heart sank. Who wants to take 160 kindergartners to the zoo in that kind of weather?? And then I thought, “I feel like I have been to the zoo in extreme heat before.” And then I remembered that yes, indeed, I had! Back in 2008 in the incredible Okinawa. When I spent my summer on the beautiful subtropical island of Japan, we took the kids to the local zoo. And it was always hot as hades there. I could do this. I will survive.
Since I can’t show you pics of my trip today to the zoo, even though I have a darn cute one of my little African queen wearing my hot pink sunglasses with her cute little sundress. So I will instead share pictures from the last time I went to the zoo in extreme heat :)
It was tricky to be prepared for today because not only did I need to dress for the heat, I also needed to figure out a way to look at least moderately presentable after the zoo for our kindergarten graduation upon our return to school. Basically I didn’t want to turn into one of these prairie dogs at the Okinawa Zoo…
How does one do that after sweating for 4 hours in intense heat? Let me tell you. First off, I planned for the presentable part, before the keeping cool part. I picked a black tank top with wide ruffly sleeves. Then I brought a bright chunky long necklace to put on once I returned to school. All attention should be drawn away from my disheveledness and towards the bright necklace, right?? Genius.
Next I planned the staying cool part. I had waterbottles for each kid and for myself also. I wore teva sandals (partially to keep my feet cooler than tennis shoes, partially to test out their walking capabilities for Europe. It was a success). Then, I thought back to Oki, and what hints I could pick up from the Japanese. I left my umbrella (sun shield) at home, but I did grab a Japanese fan and used it all day long (best idea ever) and also brought a washcloth to dab that sweat off my face – both great lessons from the Japanese. Thank you! Saved me :)
Of course I also made sure that anytime I saw a child from my class to inquire about their water drinking thus far, and encouraged shade and visits to the air conditioning. All in all, a successful trip to the zoo. I think since I was prepared for it to totally suck, I was pleasantly surprised by my lack of complete miserableness.
I was even able to enjoy conversations with kids such was:
It is like we are outdoor explorers!
What is Mrs. T’s first last name? (yes, we had a big discussion, me and this kid, about maiden names. She did not like the idea that perhaps someday I would have a different last name…)
When will we see the stinky zebras?
Thank you for bringing us here! You are the best.
Is that a girl seal or a boy seal?
Will the giraffes spit on us?
Look at that ride! Oh My God! Echoed by another student: O.M.G. (I usually stop and tell the kids they can say things like “oh my goodness!” instead. But the moment was lost after the OMG. Seriously – how old are you? 5 going on 15?)
This was followed by graduation. But more on that later… turns out I’m feeling a little sad about the year ending. Didn’t see that coming…
p.s. If you want to read more about my last subtropical zoo trip, or see the video of a gorilla(?) throwing his “poo-poo” at my Japanese students, click here (the video is at the bottom of the post)