Dunlaps in San Salvador

Online journal of the Dunlaps' adventures in San Salvador.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Dunlap Family Portrait

I admit - the last six weeks have been really tough for me. It felt like Will was gone forever. He finally returned on August 9th, and then we started the whirlwind of the start of school. But life's routine never felt so good! You can tell I have not been teaching for long, because instead of enjoying the summer, I feel utterly lost. Now I am knee deep in tests and essays to grade, but life is so much better.

The only complaint I have is that I really miss the sunshine! We got a little of the mess from Hurricane Felix, but it seems like it's been raining for a solid week. We did get a day off from school for the storm. The Ministry of Education closes school for the whole country, and that includes us. I'm about ready for the rainy season to end all together. Then it gets real windy for a while, and then perfection settles in for a good six months.

We finally chose our new personalities for our "Libras de Amor" stickers. This is a non-profit group that helps disadvantaged Salvadoran families. Their main fundraiser is to sell stickers. They are in all the grocery stores and check-out counters all over the place. You have to sort through and find the sticker that resembles you the most. When we sold the Volvo, we started the hunt for our new faces. There are no blond boys (wonder why?), so Will is always dark-headed. We searched forever for cat stickers, too. Mags got out her pens and personalized the second cat. I'm not a gardener at all, but I tried to match my hairstyle instead of my personality. Anyway, here's our family portrait in stickers.

Independence Day is next week - hello three day weekend! I cannot wait. There's a big school assembly and the seniors dance in traditional Salvadoran costumes. I like the pageantry, and the day off. I still have not mastered the national anthem here - that needs to go on my to-do list.

I have 93 students this year, and a new classroom on the second floor. It's sunny - which is wonderful - and hot. I have one class with 23 students, so they moved me to a bigger room. We sneak off to the library in the afternoon in search of air conditioning. I'm teaching my first Advanced Placement class this year. It's a challenge - but I love it. Will has moved up to Middle School. Maggie is my student this year. That's a challenge too. But her classmates are really good sports about it. I'll teach her next year as well. I hope she doesn't get sick of me.

I had an article published in the Spartanburg Magazine about my life in El Salvador. It was a real thrill for me to see my writing on glossy paper. As soon as the link is posted, I'll add it to my blog. My students are struggling with their writing styles - I certainly understand the challenge. I had a couple of boys try to skip the conclusion on their first essay assignment by just writing "peace out." I understand the temptation - but I'll spare you all the same ending. Ignore the Weather Channel and come see us!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love those stickers!! I miss getting to see them on all the cars during day-to-day activities in the states. On my first trip to El Salvador my husband (a Salvadorian native) and I searched high and low for our matches and only found a sticker for him and our daughter. Then he sold his truck! So, now on my next trip down there we'll have to go on another hunt for stickers for the car I buy when I finally move down there.

As always, I enjoy reading your updates and thanks so much for your prompt response to my last comment!

Take care,

4:44 PM  
Blogger rick w said...

Dear Dr. and Mrs. Dunlap,

Sir, you are a hard man to find!! I hope this note reaches you through the blog. I met with a man who knew you from your SDS teaching days and he said you had moved to San Salvador. I hope all is well for you there. I would love to reestablish contact. Hoping to hear from you at rswylie2000@yahoo.com.

Rick Wylie

11:13 AM  
Blogger westie111 said...

Hi Dunlaps. I miss seeing you, and so does Matt and Craig. I heard you are on the honor roll Will, so congradulations.

From: West Thompson

8:22 AM  
Blogger westie111 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:23 AM  
Blogger westie111 said...

Will, I wish you would email me back.

From: West Thompson

8:26 AM  
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