outdoors People Photography

Festival of Nations

A storm blew in tonight and took with it the heat that has oppressed our state. We have broken records right and left, including a heat index of 121 degrees on Saturday, and several days straight with over 100 degree real temperatures.

Now I can go outside, and I need to as my daily level of stress has increased beyond comfort or even good health. I was so desperate that I did go to the Festival of Nations for a few hours on Sunday — with a heat index of only 106.

The poor dancers — especially those in more elaborate costumes. I was so hot that sweat poured into my eyes, burning them, as I surreptitiously wiped my brow with my shirt (having forgotten a handkerchief, and desperate enough to conveniently forget everything my mother taught me when I was young). But at least I was in light and loose cotton — some of these people were in woven silks and satins. The only groups that seemed truly comfortable were the ones from Haiti and the Ivory Coast and South Africa. Their outfits fit the intolerable heat.

But the dancers never showed anything but love of the dance.

The Festival had food from so many countries, including Eritrea, a first for me. Vegetarians would have been delighted as most of the stands had meat free dishes. The Greeks had Baklava sundaes having hastily converted their offerings into something with more appeal on a hot day.

One stage provided the dancers, another music, and other areas provided craftspeople and individual performers. An Irish fiddler roamed through the trees. The crowds were light, and whether it was because everyone was suffering together, everyone was in good spirits.

But it was too bloody hot and I could only stay for a few hours, which was disappointing. Still, there was much to see in those few hours. The time was richly spent.

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