It’s 94 degrees, with thunder and lightning. No rain yet, but I think it’s coming. As it does every afternoon. Welcome to summer in Sao Paulo.

When we learned this is where we would be stationed, I did my research — as you do. My sources (weather.com, and a couple of books) indicated that the average temperature in Sao Paulo during the summer is about 80 degrees F, with a few days in the mid-80s. These sources said that the 2,500 feet above sea level here in the city ensures cooler temperatures than along the Brazilian coast and interior, and temperate living.


I’m accustomed to having my hair dry naturally after I wash it. Here, it stays damp, as do bath towels and dogs caught in the afternoon rain showers.

When Tom and I question locals or other Americans who have lived here for a while about what to expect come “full summer,” we are assured that this is the tropics: Humidity, average in the mid-90s, and daily thunderstorms are the norm. They laugh when we tell them what we read. “Uh, tropics!”

So now I’m beginning to understand why everything is so darn salty here! (And why they always have shakers of salt on the table, and never pepper.) And why it is said that Brazilians take two or three showers a day (they do smell good all the time, as the Fijians also do).

I am not built for high heat and humidity. My Basque blood boils at about 75 degrees. Already in the mornings by 9 am, it is 80+ degrees and sticky. I have a feeling it’s going to be a looooonnnnggg summer.