January 29, 2013 by jiejie768
It is the “rainy season” in Ayacucho, which does not mean what you think it means if you come from Seattle. It is still in the 80s nearly everyday, but sometimes, usually after 5pm or so, there is a rain storm. It may last 10 minutes, it may last 10 hours. It never lasts 10 months. The rain has caused the plants in the high Andean desert in which we reside to go crazy. When we left Ayacucho on Dec. 26, the grass at the school was patchy and short. When we came back on Jan. 8, it was two feet high. Certain smaller students can lie down in it and disappear. How to tame said grass? Let the animals graze! These days, a common sight on the way school includes 10 or so burros, mules and horses grazing alongside Avenida Libertadores, the main road in Carmen Alto. Just above the school, at the Cerro Acuchimay, you might see sheep, lambs and goats chowing down.
While I wouldn’t call this a common occurrence in the United States, I did live in Ellensburg for three years, and I’m familiar with farm animals. Still, I didn’t know what to say when the mother of three of our students asked me if I “knew mules.” Like, personally?