Sunday was one of those days. Nothing bad happened, but things were off. I had gotten home from Huaraz around midday and I didn’t really wanna be back in Yanamito. There were a bunch of contributing factors—I had probably stayed up a bit too late the night before, I didn’t really want to be bugged by the mayor and I have to go back to town in two days to go to Lima for a meeting, and short trips home always make me a bit antsy. Also sometimes you want Sunday to feel like Sunday—a pot of coffee, a couch, the times, a TV with cable and English—and that doesn’t really happen here. In short, things were…cranky. So I did what I always do in this situation—I went for a run.
About 5 minutes into my run, I came across two 3rd graders staring at their donkey and the sack of potatoes that had fallen off its back. I was the only “adult” around so they asked me to help. In all reality, I am probably the last person in Yanamito you want to encounter in this situation. The normal rule is, Alex is not allowed anywhere near full sacks of potatoes. Despite the fact that I am the biggest person in town, these things weigh 70 kilos and working on my upper body strength is something I have never done. But here I was, being cajoled by 2 little kids into giving it a shot. We (mostly me) rolled the bag up the embankment so they could push it onto my back. So there I am, standing there, hearing these two little kids basically put odds on me (“do you think he can do it?” “I don’t know, probably not”) and wondering what the sound of my spine breaking will be like, and I just did it. I only had to carry it like 10 feet, and I almost fell over, and I almost missed the donkey when lowering the bag down, but I did it. The 2 kids kinda cheered and their grandma came over and helped us put it in place and thanked me profusely, and I went running on my way, with a big old dumb grin spreading across my face.