Before I came to Iraq I imagined it to be hotter than I've ever felt but I still wasn't really sure whta that actually felt like. When I arrived in March, I was pleasantly surprised by the temperate weather. I thought to myself, it's beautiful here... For about 3 weeks or so it was in the 70s and 80s, no humidity and just beautiful. I knew the 120's were coming but for some reason the spring weather was clouding my judgement on what that would realistically feel like.
Well, I know now. It's been getting hot here for the past month or so but yesterday, whew, yesterday is when I realized that I am glad I didn't live here in Jesus' time. It is freakin' hot! And when I say that, there really are no words to describe it. We picked up a band in Balad yesterday morning and it actually started off eerily cool (and by cool I mean in the upper 80s, lower 90's). I thought to myself, "we may get a break from the heat today..thank God b/c we're going to 3 different FOBs and we have an afternoon show outside (why I don't know)." Little did I know that with in the next 3 hours the temperature would go up at least 20 degrees and get to just about blistering by the time we were unloading and setting things up for the first show. perfect. It was hot enough that I didn't even ask "What's the temp today?" I didn't want to know. I knew that it was hot enough that there wasn't an inch of my clothing that wasn't sweated through, dried and then sweated through again. I thought our poor entertainers (The Effects) were going to pass out on stage... We went through a 24 pack of Gatorade and about the same amount of waters with in 2.5 hours.
The "breeze" that they like to call it here is not a breeze at all. It's what I would imagine a breeze from Hell to be. It's hotter than a blowdrier being blown all over your body. Honestly, you feel like you're sitting inside a convection oven (yes, mom I know what that is, aren't you proud of your me?!). Oh, and don't forget to add when we're on the Birds to travel around, we get to sit in the "breeze" WITH our kevlar and flac vests on. I thought it was hot a few weeks ago, but I realized I didn't know what hot was until yesterday. And it's only June. When people say "it's hotter than Hell outside," I don't really think I've ever grasped that cliche.... until yesterday. It's stifling and miserable and almost feels like torture.
On a brighter note, The Effects were great last night. They performed the second show at FOB Grizzly and it was amazing to me that they had even more energy than they did the first show! They are more of a classic rock group can really jam. One of their songs, "Desert Rain" couldn't have come at a better time in the show. Joel introduced the song as one of their own and literally as he was talking a few rain drops fell out of the sky almost as if it were planned ahead of time. It rained for that one song. And that one song only. It was too perfect! The Soldiers had a great time and were thankful we brought them to here. Grizzly has become a home away from home for me here in Iraq. It's one of the smaller FOBs so I've gotten to know a lot of the people here (although one unit just went home, so there's new people I don't know yet) and they are so hospitable. Of course for some reason, as the weather would have it, I'm stuck here today... again. Hopefully we'll get out soon because our next tour starts tomorrow, in Kirkuk ironically enough. The other place I almost ALWAYS get stuck! Well I'm off for now... gonna go check on the weather and see if there's a window of green weather for us to fly out and bake on those Birds! Til next time... (hopefully it won't be another month) :D