Robert C. Thornett is a Geography professor at Northern Virginia Community College, American Public University, and Trinity Washington University. He has written previously in Yale Environment 360 about environmental and social innovations in Kenya and Brazil. He has also presented twice on Bolivia’s migration patterns and Kenya’s wildlife wars at the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers.

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In Bar San Roque, the oldest restaurant in Asunción, the waiter returns. Humming a tune, he drops the lunch check. “Gracias. Are you a musician?” I ask in Spanish. “Sí, guitarra. The song ‘Sultans of Swing,’—you know it?” “Dire Straits?” “Eso. The singer, he wrote a song about …

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Trading jokes with his housemates as the sun sets over downtown Rosario, Argentina, nursing student Miguel Suarez drags a hose across the courtyard of the Medical Student House to water a leafy burrito plant (Aloysia polystachia). Leaning from a lawn chair to pick small leaves, agronomist Custodio “Lucho” Lemos explains that …

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