“Thunder only happens when it’s raining”- Stevie Nicks
Today is another rainy fall day in Óga Itá, which means that all of the items on my agenda for the day were cancelled. Paraguay may have a government that claims to be fully functional, but the real rulers of the campo are the sun and rain and clouds. We are merely their humble subjects who change our daily activity based on the weather patterns. When I talk to families in my community, a main topic of conversation is the weather. Unlike in the US, this isn’t small talk. The weather controls when things can be done and if work is possible. Life here revolves around it. It should be something to talk about.
Is it too hot? Pushing beyond the mid-80’s? 90’s even? Finish work early. Sit in the shade of an orange or mango tree. Terere. Refrescáte. The sun is brutal during the summer. It governs what is planted and whether or not your garden will survive. It forces you to get up early to beat the heat and finish work in the Kokue before 10 AM in order to avoid heat stroke.
The rain is equally debilitating. I had planned on running. Too muddy. I hoped to work on my garden fence. Not happening. I wanted to eat lunch with the president of my women’s committee to talk about making detergent and to talk to a farmer about doing a request for Yerba with the municipality, but no one leaves the house on rainy days, even school is usually cancelled. When it rains, it pours, it thunders and flashes, and the only productive option I have is to send emails. I sit inside on my bed, wear warmer clothing as the temperature drops, drink mate all day long, put on tranquilo music and descanso. Thanks to the rain, it’s my day off.