Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What a week!

We ran the gamut this week - all sorts of highs and lows. I had a dreadful sore throat that I just couldn't seem to shake. We did learn that antibiotics are available without a prescription, and James kindly picked some up for me on Tuesday. But there was just too much going on to take time to be sick, so I never missed school. Lucky for me, we had Wednesday off (Day of the Dead). I stayed home while everyone else went out and did something exciting.

James and our Spanish teacher, Sergio, went to the central market in downtown San Salvador. James had to dress down - t-shirt and ball cap - so as not to draw too much attention to himself. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but it can be dangerous downtown. I'm glad he found a local to take him. He'll have to write his own entry to describe the market.

Of course, it was also Halloween on Monday. We had trick-or-treating in the complejo. Everything started at 5:30 and was over by 6:15 - amazing! Will and his friend Kyle were both Zorro. We got their hats at the artisan market. There is no such thing as a Halloween costume for sale in this country, but everyone seems to make do.

Maggie volunteered Tuesday night and all day Wednesday with a local church. They had learned about a shelter that had no supplies. It's hard to believe that people are still in shelters from the landslides - guess it will be awhile. Maggie's a hard worker and I think they were glad to have her. And her Spanish is really starting to take off. I think the more time she spends being forced to speak Spanish, the better she'll get.

I had the pleasure of chaperoning a field trip to a local orphanage in Saint Thomas on Tuesday. I'm the advisor for a school club called "Helping Hands." I'm not a whole lot of help, since the meetings are all in Spanish! But I was so impressed with the Escuela Americana students who went on the trip. When the priest who ran the orphanage was asked what the kids wanted, he said fresh vegetables. So we took food and played games with the kids. It was a really nice afternoon.

We ended the week with the black tie Marine Ball. It was quite an occasion. The ambassador was there. The highlight for us was meeting the Vice President of El Salvador. Mrs. Escobar had visited Spartanburg about a month ago, and said how warmly she was received. James and I both teach her step-son, and he is a charming young man. And, in the great Salvadoran tradition, the Vice President kissed me on the cheek. It was fun to get dressed up and go out. The other couple in the photo is Letty and Julio Magana. They have adopted us since we moved here - we'd be absolutely lost without them.

We should have a calm week ahead. We're already making plans for our trip home in December. It should be here soon - can't wait.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice to hear what it feels to be in el salvador, something that i miss greatly. a salvadoreno living in the state of georgia, who left el salvador at the age of 6 ,greatly apreciates to hear the truth of what living in el salvador feels like... thanks for your insight..

8:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too left El Salvador in 1979 and did not go back until 2005.
I'm glad you are finding the place worth sharing with others in a otherwise easy to miss country.
Do not forget to check out the FMLN Museum and of course Army's own in the old Zapote Armory.
Good for you, Dunlaps.

6:10 PM  

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