So last weekend was our first free weekend since being here. With so much time you think we would want to go out and see the sights or go to the beach or something mildly exciting.
So what did we end up doing?
Sleep (kind of).
And eat (obviously).
It was the first time I’ve gotten to sleep in until….wait for it….8:30 in who knows how long. It was quite the luxury. It’s also possible I would have slept longer if we didn’t live adjacent to an auto shop. The sound of sheet metal being cut isn’t an Alarm tone for a good reason.
I caught up on laundry which turned into a 2-hour arm workout since half my clothes smelled of must from being rained on the last tim I did laundry. The rest of the weekend was more or less a blur of walking around the streets and adding more reference points to our mental navigation system. Apparently just because streets have names doesn’t mean they are used or even known, most of our directions start with
“So it’s on the way to the UCA…”
“It’s right by Biscuit (the swanky internet cafe around the corner)…”
We ended up drinking juice blends, aka smoothies minus the dairy products, eating ice cream, and most importantly going to one of the few mexican restaurants in the area. Andale is known for having large burritos, which we were all extremely excited for since we hadn’t had any sort of mexican food for over 3 weeks.
No chips and salsa, no tacos, nada, nunca, cero.
Good thing the al pastor Andale burrito gets served on a cookie sheet and is approximately 1.5 feet long.
This is my kind of mexican restaurant.
But the weekend went by faster than expected, with less homework being done and more food in my stomach.
Monday, we were back at our praxis sites, and I finally got to walk to Zone 3 of Tepecoyo. I was told that the higher the number of the zone, the higher the level of poverty is, the rougher the quality of life is, and to be much more careful when we visit.
But honestly, it’s beautiful there.
The streets were much cleaner and flatter. Instead of being constructed of rocks and littered with wrappers and bags from snacks sold in small stores/rooms of peoples houses the roads were just compact dirt. They were a bit slippery form the rain, and every time I looked up at the multitudes of trees I ended up slipping just a little bit, never falling though. We visited the house of a boy named Sergio who has infantile paralysis. Sergio is 12 years old but had the mental age of a 2-3 year old. All 3 of his sisters have dropped out of school to help around the house since their mother died a few years ago and their father now works in the fields all day to help pay for their food. It was difficult to see Sergio, and it was even more difficult to start up a conversation with his sisters. What do you say to a family who has given everything up to keep Sergio healthy? I don’t even know how I would approach the situation with an English speaking family. I left feeling guilty, already thinking of questions for next time.
The rest of the week went by in what felt like a second. Praxis, class homework, running, laundry, praxis, choir praxis for our Mass with the becarios, class, soccer, more laundry, Mass with the becarios, and next on the agenda is praxis weekend.
Around 4PM today we will head out to our praxis sites until Sunday afternoon and I’m actually really excited, I’ll be making pupusas, playing soccer, learning a heck of a lot of Spanish, and most importantly celebrating independence day tomorrow!
I’ll certainly have updates and plenty more pictures coming up after the weekend. Note: tomorrow also marks my one month anniversary in El Salvador, so I guess you could say things are getting pretty serious.