Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Never will be a native

I’m remiss again in updating the blog. In truth, I embarrassed to admit how many days go by and I don’t leave campus. One excuse is just being busy. I finally finished my second class for my master’s degree (maybe seven or eight to go?). The classes met on campus for two weeks straight: three hours every afternoon after school and two eight-hour marathon sessions on back to back Saturdays. The class was enjoyable. We had a fantastic teacher with a great sense of humor. But it is a challenge to try to teach and learn at the same time! In the middle of all that, James got sick. We ended up eating everything in the pantry because neither of us could make it to the grocery store.

There’s another reason we don’t go out as much. There is a major road construction project going on right now. Parts of Jerusalem Avenue and El Paseo are completely destroyed. I worry about the businesses on those two main streets. There are simply places you cannot get to right now. James and I went out Friday night to visit one of our former students in the hospital.( As a side note, if I’m ever sick I’m going to Hospital Diagnostico. It was as nice as any Marriot I’ve ever stayed in!) But getting to the hospital was a challenge. James went back out on Saturday to the hardware store, and he said that the route we had taken on Friday night was now closed. And to add to the mess, little side neighborhoods are closing their streets off as well. I’m sure they didn’t appreciate the cut-through traffic, but I’m surprised they can get away with closing city streets! So you add about 20 to 30 minutes to your drive time right now. They are promising only a few more weeks of construction. I hope that’s true. I hope my favorite coffee shop is still in business when the streets are re-opened.

We are headed to a horse farm for a birthday party in a little while. I think getting out of the city will do me good. We are trying to negotiate our summer plans right now. We have the opportunity to possible stay here and teach summer school. I’m excited about the possibility, but worried about getting homesick. We definitely will head to South Carolina for a few weeks, maybe during the Agostino holidays.

I have been reading a travel guide to El Salvador that James checked out of the library. I’m disappointed in myself about how little I still know about this country. I guess I figured I would absorb Salvadoran culture, just like I hoped I would absorb Spanish. Though I’ve learned a little bit of each, there is still a lot more work for me to do. I don’t think I will ever get over the feeling of this place being foreign. For example, I was sitting in my master’s class and I kept hearing what I thought were kids squeaking their tennis shoes on the terrazzo floor outside our classroom. I didn’t realize how easily I can be distracted. I was ready to ask my classmate who was sitting by the door to go tell those kids to stop. And then a friend leaned over and said, "Hear those toucans?" I had to laugh - what a city girl I am, can’t tell the difference between a toucan and a tennis shoe. I did finally get to see a couple of toucans in a tree outside my classroom. All I could think about was the Fruit Loops mascot. Maybe after I learn Spanish and the Salvadoran culture, I’ll take up bird watching.

So much to do... and as always, so many papers to correct. There’s a chance I’ll teach an A.P. English course next year. Hope Mrs. Dobbs, my A.P. English teacher, would be proud. For all my friends who are cold while they are reading this, I am so sorry... It’s a little windy today, but otherwise 80 degrees never felt so good!


Anonymous Anonymous said...



2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Dunlaps! It's Lucy. I just wanted to say hello and that y'all look great. Maggie and Will look so grown up! Glad you're doing well in El Salvador. Hopefully the next time we see you I can practice my Spanish!


10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Dunlaps... I am saddened that I've lost track of you over the hears. But Linda, Tucker, Mia and I all thought of you last night when Joan (Tobey) came to visit us in Salem (Virginia). We love our new life, but there are so many we miss from Spartanburg, and y'all are at the top of the list. Love, Mike

2:43 PM  

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