Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


OK - I know - today was the first day of school and what in the world is a pupusa? Maggie and Will walked ahead of us this morning as we headed out at 7:00 am, and I was sorry I hadn't taken a photo of them in their new uniforms - white shirts and blue bottoms. They rolled their eyes at the suggestion and headed off to school, but I promise a photo soon.

Maggie quickly discovered that the girls hem their skirts - her's was the length that it was when we bought it in the school store. She's still deciding what length she wants (no one, it seems, follows the rule of one inch above the knee.) Her new friends (who seem to mostly be named Arianna) kindly showed her how to cuff her sleeves, which is another cool uniform adaptation that no one tells you in the school store. The highlight of the school store for us was that one of the part-time employees goes to Converse College. We met Rebecca and her friends at the Sandwich Factory one Saturday last Spring and had lunch together. She is absolutely lovely and Converse is lucky to have her.

The first day of school was pretty typical: we all made mistakes and survived just the same. But the real highlight of the day was finding out that tomorrow, Mila is cooking pupusas for us. They are small, round, flat tortilla like things filled with cheese, beans and meat. We bought frozen pupusas at the grocery store and probably won't try them again. The meat inside is called chicharron, which is basically pork fat. You'd think Southerners who have eaten pork rinds could handle chicharron, but it was not the best food choice we've made since we arrived.

I think Mila is trying to tell me that she needs a clay dish to cook in. Hopefully she'll be able to make do until I find one. We bought the corn flour (nix tamalizado) and the special cheese (quesillo). Please remember that Mila speaks very, very little English and I speak even less Spanish. We play charades together in the afternoon and some how make out a grocery list. We're missing the curdito, a pickled relish that tops the pupusas, but that's ok. Not sure if you buy it prepared or make it fresh. Maybe Mila can act that out for me tomorrow.

Everything's an adventure! We'll let you know how the pupusas turn out.


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