Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Mila and More

We have spent a lot of time lately with our housekeeper, Mila. Normally we’re in school and not under her feet, but the last few weeks we have all been in the house together. (Good news – our car is finally back from the shop! There was a massive ant invasion when it came back to us – but I think we’ve got that under control now.) Back to Mila - it never ceases to amaze me how hard she works. We were discussing the age of our washing machine, when she volunteered her age - 56. She also told me that her house has been without water for three days. I’m sure she considers our home to be pretty fancy. We are grateful for the time she spends with us.

I think Mila appreciates our rudimentary Spanish. We are communicating more than we did last year, and I haven’t sent her home since we got back (like I did by mistake last year.) Mila tries to talk to me more, and most of the time I get what she’s saying. I think she gets a kick out of the big smile on my face when I understand her Spanish.

Mila has been the one to give us bat advice. We have been more diligent about closing the doors at night (I really don’t like bats.) She also took our cross left over from Dia de la Cruse and posted it by the back door. She said it will keep the bats away. James took down a big clove of old garlic that someone else had nailed over a door. I’m not using the “v” word, but it does seem like the folklore here is heavy on the vampire part... I’m just glad we haven’t had another bat in the house.

We have been out and about a little bit, trying to enjoy the last few days of vacation before school starts. We took our first trip to the peer with Todd and Kathy Gordon. We bought jumbo shrimp fresh off the boat (at least I think it was fresh). There are big cranes where they hoist all the boats up onto the peer. Then all the fishermen unload their catch for the day. (We visited the Atlanta Aquarium this summer and marveled at the sea life. Here it seems that they eat everything that we saw on display – eels, sharks, manta rays. I guess just about anything can be filleted.) We also saw turtle eggs for sale – even though there is a huge push to try to get Salvadorans not to eat them, it looks like they are very popular.

We took a trip to the beach on Tuesday with the Fawcetts – sort of a last hurrah before school starts. (That's Will in the middle of photo.) We ran into a protest on the highway – lots of people carrying signs, with newspaper and tv reporters everywhere. Turns out the demonstration was against the rising bus fares. It was pretty early in the day and we managed to get through the crowd. We saw a picture on the front page of the paper the next day that showed the highway completely blocked by the protestors. Our timing was really good. When we arrived at the beach, the club was closed for repairs. We had a cooler full of sandwiches and drinks, so we just went on in. We had a whole stretch of beach to ourselves. There was a big storm here in June that dumped thousands of rocks on the shore, so we spent most of the time in the club’s pool. But it was so nice to see the Pacific again. I’m still amazed that we live that close to the shore.

Our first faculty meeting is tomorrow morning, and then we’re headed to a faculty retreat about two hours from here at La Palma. It’s another part of the country that I haven’t seen, so I’m really looking forward to the trip. We’re going to paint the dining room when we get back, so I promise to post some pictures of the house after that. I think James will be relieved when I start teaching again and quit messing with this house. More to come! Susan


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Susan

I love reading your blog. Hope you and your family are doing well. Keep writing so I can live vicariously through you.

9:10 AM  

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