Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Sunday, May 21, 2006


A friend wrote that I had been remiss in blogging. Certainly from April to May, she was right. We are one week away from exams here, which means I just have to update the Dunlap blog (anything distracting is a temptation today, so I don't have to face grading essays).

I think I might clean out my closet (another disctraction). The question looms - do I give away all the clothes that no longer fit? Can I keep all this weight off when we go back to South Carolina? I'm going to think positively and pitch my big clothes. Now it's simply a question of whether or not I can take my new lifestyle home with me. James and I were talking yesterday about how we'd lost so much weight. The walking has got to be a big part of it. I've completely worn out my favorite pair of shoes - they can't be fixed at this point. Maggie is on her third pair of school shoes. We just walk a lot.

When we come home in the afternoon after school, whatever Mila has cooked for dinner is on the stove. That removes any temptation to call for a pizza or run to the nearest drive-thru. And it is cheaper to buy fruit in the grocery store than to buy junk food. A pineapple is always 89 cents. Mangoes are four for a dollar. Bananas are 18 cents a pound. Why would I ever buy a $5 bag of American Doritos? It just doesn't make sense.

But I have really gotten spoiled by having so few household duties. When I come home to a clean house with all the laundry already done, it's so easy to go for an afternoon walk. The extra time is a real luxury. I've made some good walking friends as well. During the week I walk with the head of purchasing from the school. On Saturdays I walk with a girlfriend while her son plays soccer. And on Sundays, James andI hit the track together. Every once in awhile I can get Maggie or Will to join me. One afternoon, I walked with one of my favorite students. She kept me entertained for an hour. For some reason, walking has gone from being a punishment to beng a nice outing. Maybe it is because there is an amazing view of the volcano from the track. So those are my Salvadoran weight loss secrets. Can I keep it up in SC? Remains to be seen!

We went to the mall yesterday to have lunch in the Food Court. Will's Spanish has been a struggle for him, but he really impressed me when he ordered his own lunch. I'm still working on the one word technique when I shop. Maggie needed a birthday present for a boy, so I ventured into a clothing store. I asked for a camiseta negro mediano (medium sized black t-shirt) for an hijo de catorce anos (oops - called him my son). But it worked!

While we were eating lunch, there was a small earthquake. It was just a 4.5, but I'd never been out in public when a quake hit. We are usually at home in our little cement house built to California codes. Across from us was a Salvadoran family. The father and I immediately began to watch each other. I think he wanted to see if I would panic. I wanted to see if he would grab his children and run. It's amazing how many thoughts you can have in 8 or 10 seconds. But the quake ended and no one moved and we went back to our lunch.

Such is life in Central America! We'll be back home in less than three weeks. On to final exams... Susan


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