Sunday, October 31, 2010

Which is hotter...Dominican Republic or Phoenix?

I was asked in both locations, "Which is hotter?": the Dominican Republic or Phoenix, Arizona? First, the question needs to be asked as if all things were equal, which they are not. In the real world 110 - 118 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer in the desert is WAY cooler than 90 degrees in the DR (does that surprise you?) because you can always go inside where there is air conditioning.

In the Dominican Republic A/C in homes was reserved for the wealthier people and even then typically just in the bedrooms. Windows that open wide and overhead fans provide some cross ventilation that theoretically help, but I sweated inside homes and apartments on a regular basis. When I looked at an apartment without overhead fans, I was told (I think just to get me to rent the place) that Dominicans don't have fans in their homes. While that is true for the poor, I would say it is an exaggeration. Stores and restaurants usually had air conditioning when the electricity was working. Most places I lived in provided only overhead fans. Even the large home I cared for had airconditioning only in the bedroom - and I strove to keep my use of it to a minimum, because electricity was very expensive. The DR was freaking hot. Yet, most Dominicans did not sweat profusely like I did, and wisely carried washclothes to absorb the dampness on thier faces.

That is "real world". But if you go on vacation and stay in a nice hotel or a resort, you can expect A/C and back up generators for electricity all the time, as well as a lovely breeze coming off the ocean. Fantastic!

So to make a true comparison, we'd have to ask if both places were without airconditioning, which is hotter? That's a hard call. My trip back to Arizona in July made it the decision even harder - as it is the hottest time of year for both locations. The answer...both dry and humid heat in these dramatically different locales are experienced such incredibly differentent manners, that there is no comparison - both are pretty much horrible if you are without modern technology. Dry heat wraps itself around your skin like a glove, moist heat drips from every sweat gland in your body into your eyes or plastering hair and clothes to your body. (I must clarify that not even Arizona's July monsoons can count for humid if you've lived long in the DR.)

Normally, Arizona in the fall and spring (desert or mountains) is gorgeous--hands down one of the most gorgeous places on earth. And winter in DR, perfectly lovely, not to be missed. If you don't do it the way I did (low budget, big city),but stay at a resort on the beach, just about any time of year will be a vacation in heaven.

Here's a great example of the heat in Arizona. Okay, just kidding - but very cool what happened here on October 5th, 2010, in spite of damage to cars that were not under cover. Not typical for AZ AT ALL. Don't forget to come back to Blogger after you view the video:

Right now in the area of Dominican Republic and Haiti - Hurricane Tomas. Please pray for the island to be spared from not only a hurricane but flooding as well. My heart cries out with the people of Haiti who do not need another tragedy or anything that can spread illnesses, such as TB or cholera. DR does not "need" it either, as some of those illnesses are starting to crop up in the major cities also due to illegal immigration (don't take that politically, just as a public health issue - illnesses cross borders with people) and floods will again add to the spread of disease.

The Dominican Republic has begun measuires to control the spread of "new" old diseases, and I am impressed with how quickly the government responds to such crises - in education and prevention programs, and in treatment.

Your prayers for changed weather patterns that keep the hurricane out to sea, mercy, health and safety for the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and DR combined).

Thank you, Heather

Heather J. Kirk, Photographer, Author, Graphic Designer"We...a spirit seeking harmony for a world that's out of sync" - purchase an e-book at: her art at: Fine Art Americaand

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