Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Quince - September 15th


Well so much for my promise to myself to keep up with regular blog postings. And now it’s been so long that I don’t know where to start. I’ll try to hit the highlights ofthe last few weeks.

Salvadoran Independence Day is September 15. It’s a school holiday, so we had a nice three-day weekend. Every holiday is big here. I’m not sure why this country is so good at celebrating. I guess because there have been so many times in their history that there wasn’t much to celebrate. But for weeks prior to the big day, all the street vendors are out selling Salvadoran flags. The school had their traditional assembly, with speeches and songs. The seniors performed traditional Salvadoran dances, as well as the 4th graders. Boy, was Will Dunlap glad to be in 5th grade this year. He was the little lost gringo last year during the performance.

I really like the Salvadoran national anthem. It’s much longer than the U.S.’s, but it’s pretty. Maggie knows most of the words now. (We have an office in the new house, with two computers. Mags and I sit side by side when we work, only she sings in Spanish. It’s entertaining and bizarre at the same time.) The whole holiday was lovely, but the city traffic was insane. By the time school got out on Thursday, the streets were grid-locked. James went to run errands after school. On the way back, he finally just parked the car on a side street and walked home. I’m not sure if they closed some streets for parades or construction or both, but it was wild. And then on the 15th, the city was completely empty.

We went to the Costa del Sol with friends on Saturday, and ran into lots of EA students on the beach. It’s impossible to travel and not run into someone you know. Will and I gathered pink clam shells on the beach. I’m not sure what we’re going to do with them, but they reminded me of our pink house in Spartanburg, so I brought a bucket-full back home. Maggie and James ended up visiting friends in a couple of really nice beach houses. It was a perfect day.

The photos are from the school celebration. These are the seniors we taught last year, in native Salvadoran costumes. This year is so much more fun because we now know half of the Upper School. And it’s fun to see Maggie in the hallways as well. James has been moved into a classroom in the new science wing. We have no idea how he scored such a nice room. It is really big and all brand new.

I started my first class yesterday toward my Master’s degree in Education. The classes are held on campus. The degree will be from Framingham State University. They hold classes in international schools all over the world. I’m taking a course in Media. I think I’m going to have to learn how to operate our digital camera as part of the class. As a benefit to EA teachers, if you stay here long enough they will reimburse you for all your classes. So a free Master’s degree seemed hard to pass up.

Grades are due tomorrow so I’d better get back to work. If I get finished in time, we’ll go out for coffee this afternoon. Oh and maybe a few minutes by the pool? There’s never enough weekend for me! Susan

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