At its final meeting for this semester the morning of May 3, the Animal Welfare Club at St. Francis High School in Mountain View welcomed Chris Corvetti from Grassroots Ecology who spoke about adjusting to different cultural practices during her work as a high-school teacher for the Peace Corps in a rural Mongolian town. Chris spent two years in Mongolia, and it was during this stay that she rescued a Mongolian street dog who she named Rin.
Club members viewed photos of street dogs in Mongolia and the conditions in which these animals subsisted. It is highly unusual for people to care for dogs as companions there, so Chris’ experience was unique, including a 9-hour taxi drive to a large city to have Rin spayed and examined by a veterinarian. Chris took Rin to school every day, where she waited patiently outside, and Rin accompanied Chris and her students on field trips. In these ways, Chris’ students had exposure to a different, more humane way of treating dogs, and came to accept Rin as a companion.
St. Francis students asked insightful questions about life and cultural practices in Mongolia as well as schooling and attitudes toward animals. Chris’ presentation was unique in highlighting the importance of cultural exchange and working toward a deeper understanding of different ways of life.