Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


I hope I can do justice in describing this moment. James, Maggie and Will are watching "Quick Draw McGraw" in Spanish. This is the happiest I've seen James today (not counting the Upper School faculty meeting this afternoon when he realized they were serving doughnuts.) James has been waking up with the rooster next door, which is generally around 3:00 am each morning. We live on the edge of campus - we were told there are squatters living on the other side of the wall. After asking around, turns out the family has lived on the land for over 40 years. Over the summer, they built a new two story cement block structure to live in. Luckily there are no windows on our side, or our bedrooms would be at eye-level and about 12 feet apart.

We finally got to see a couple of the young "squatters" on Sunday when they decided to paint the cement block on our side. They were using rock climbing equipment to dangle next to the wall while they painted. Maggie summed it up beautifully. "That's the color of Gumby," she said. My hope was that if they did fall in our yard, they would grab that big bunch of bananas on the way down. (Mila assures me we have another week or two before it's picking time.) The Gumby decorating theme was eventually abandoned for big sheets of black plastic - not nearly as jarring to the eyes.

I promised everyone an explanation of Salvadoran ants. I'm jealous of the new teachers who were forewarned and brought some sort of special ant poison. My first introduction to the smallest ants I've ever seen was when they moved inside my laptop. I eventually popped out my DVD drive to find a very small crumb inside - the perfect ant bait. These ants swarm around anything sweet. Our neighbor swears that she saw an Oreo move, and I believe her. Luckily we have white counters, so it's easy to spot any left-over crumbs. But if you miss one, the ants will point it out to you swiftly. They are quick, they are small, and they are everywhere. I've never had such a clean kitchen in my life.

Strange weather we are having - instead of the normal evening shower, it has rained all day. This is a first for us since we arrived. Maggie is amazed at all her friends who work so hard to straighten their hair. Running back and forth to class today brought out everyone's natural curls. But Maggie just got compliments at how straight her hair was. I guess we all want what we can't have. I've pretty much given up on hair and make-up. It's just a waste of time in a tropical climate.

Not sure how I went from Spanish cartoons to ants to hair do's. The weather has me rambling tonight. Next blog entry - the Dunlaps driving around the city in the rain. Adios!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok I know how you feel about the Spanish Language. I work with Spanish all day long and they make fun of me as I am trying to learn to talk to them. My boss Alan is very very fluent in Spanish and goes to San Salvador quite often. Maybe I should send James some clothes down next time he goes.
Amanda still has her same bicycle trail through your driveway. I hope you told the Cunningham's that she came with the house. I never see them, seems like they are never home. They are very quiet. Same old same old in the neighborhood. Please tell me what a "squater" is. I am picturing something not very pretty in my mind.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Susan!

Glad to hear you are all settled in San Salvador! Mom and I just got back from the Burg and our family reunion. We had a great time at Abby's (Arby's) with your Mom on Thursday for lunch! She looks fab! She had printed out a lot of stuff from the blog, so we got a wonderful preview of your adventure so far. I can't get over how much Maggie looks like you. You look like twins in the picture at the beach. I look forward to reading your future postings and I promise to keep writing too! Send me your email address.
Mine is lcharak@america.net.
Love ya Butterball!
Your favorite Peanut

6:27 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Hi Susan.

We've almost gotten our first full week under our belt at the Day School, so I just now got a chance to catch up on all your writing. Very, very cool stuff. I'm going to suggest that our Spanish classes make your blog a regular part of their reading. The pink house just looks empty every time I ride by it, twice a day.

BTW, Tucker's in school now and lovin' it. Linda's stay-at-home with Mia and getting used to it.

Keep up the writing. It's a joy to see your faces.

James -- are you riding at all?

7:34 PM  

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