Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Monday, December 11, 2006

It's exam time

If I have a big pile of mid-term exams to grade, then for some reason I become inspired to update the blog. I was technically waiting for James to write this story, because he and Maggie had the last adventure. But it's old news now, so I'll just have to tell their story for them.

Maggie has been working hard on the Varsity Knowledge Bowl team at Escuela Americana. Her sponsor, Carmen, swears that Knowledge Bowl is not the "nerd club." The team practiced for weeks to prepare for the trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras, for the Central American championship. This is the part of the story where we earn the title of "really bad parents." In our defense, we all had a lot going on that week. Every time we thought Maggie had all the paperwork necessary to leave the country, some other technicality cropped up. This trip took place the day after the school's 60th birthday celebration, in which Maggie gave tours all day and then played the clarinet with the band during the all-school assembly. So in our defense, we were all tired the next morning when we had to get Maggie up at 3:15 a.m. James dropped her off around 4:30, and the call came at 4:55 from the bus station. Maggie had everything she needed except her passport, and they would not let Mags on the bus.

A little after 5:00, a friend dropped Mags back off at the complejo. James grabbed his daughter and her passport, convinced that he could catch up with the bus and they'd let her on. His parting words were, "I am not driving to Honduras." Turns out that buses will not stop en route, not even for the $20 James offered the driver. So he did indeed drive to the Honduran border, waited for them to let Maggie on, and then he drove back through crazy morning traffic to get home. It's much harder to get back into the city around 8:00 than it is to get out at 5:00. He only missed one class that morning, but he did come home and take a three hour nap that afternoon. The good news is that the team also won the Central American championship, and Mags was proud of the questions she answered. I don't think we'll be forgetting a passport again any time soon.

The Marine Ball was lovely. James cajoled the ambassador into a photograph with the two of us. Even though I'm not posting it, he also had his picture taken with the waiter from our table. We met a Marine from Columbia, SC. I think we frightened him when we introduced ourselves, but still it was nice to see someone from home. We had nine people for Thanksgiving dinner (ok, ok, including us!). One couple we invited have a daughter, Jennifer, who teaches here at the school. Her parents are from Tennessee, and that was the sweetest sounding accent I have heard in a long time. They were delightful Thanksgiving company for us.

I have an article coming out in the Spartanburg Herald Journal in a week. It is about Christmas in El Salvador. My students were a big help in putting it together. Technically we have not experienced a Salvadoran Christmas, so this will be our first. It will also be the first time in my life I will not be in SC for the holidays. I'm homesick already.

Off to grade. Happy Holidays! Feliz Navidad!


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