Under the scorching sun

It was 1 January 2007 and I was doing my one-year pre-military service. We had returned to service after a break for the Christmas holidays and were preparing for test shooting. The temperature highs were around 38 degrees Celsius.

The next Saturday, everything was ready and target practice was to start. By 7 in the morning, everything was ready to go. When it was time for my section to shoot, I remember completing the first two shooting positions (lying with support and kneeling), but the third position was lying down, unsupported. We were ordered to hurry, so I grabbed the rifle – it was very hot due to exposure to sun – but I did my shots. I only realized after retiring from the firing position that my hands had formed blisters from the heat of the rifle.

I live in Villa Montes municipality in the province of Gran Chaco Tarija, Bolivia. This town has the highest temperatures in the country and holds the Bolivian record. Once a high of 52 degrees Celsius was reported, but it was not recorded. The heat lasts from October to February.

I wrote to share my experience so that people would know that now temperatures are reaching new highs and remaining hot longer, so that they reflect. Climate change is evident in the world.