Tuesday, May 17, 2011

La Playa y San Lucas

Saturday we went to the beach and it was so relaxing and fun. It was hot, the water was warm, the sand was black and I didn't even get sunburned.

On Sunday, we went to church and it was wonderful. My understanding of Spanish is pretty good and my conversation skills are definitely improving. I love getting to know the people and listening to the lessons in Spanish.

On Monday, we took a 2.5 hour bus ride(er...1.5 hour bus ride and then 45 minutes or so of piling into the back of a pickup truck, bumping down a dirt road) to a community called San Lucas where we walked around and reviewed these square foot gardens that the Help International team from last year helped the community create. It was really fun to talk to people and practice my Spanish.

On Tuesday, we visited an organization called CIPI which is a temporary house/school for girls who have rough home lives. We were hoping to be able to interact with the girls and get to know them a little better, but instead they just had us paint the walls of one of the rooms to cover up the marker/pencil marks.

Tuesday night, a few girls and I went to a church activity for women, where we learned how to make Chinese wontons (yummy fried goodness), and that was really fun. The women in the ward here are so great and got so excited about teaching us how to make pupusas (typical Salvadoran fare) next week!

Yesterday, we went to a community called Getsemani, where we are hoping to do a variety of projects. The group I went with walked around the community and talked to people about their stoves. One of the problems with communities like Getsemani is that because of the high price of gas, many people cook over wood stoves, and inhale a lot of smoke in the process, causing some serious health problems. We're hoping to build a few adobe stoves in the community, because from my understanding, they retain heat better and channel the smoke in better ways. It was an adventure looking for an area called Las Prisas(a community where better stoves had been implemented), but after squishing 4 of us into a little 3 wheel taxi, we made it. We met Dora, one of the community leaders, who seemed to know everyone, and she showed us around and let us look at some kitchens in the community.

The people here are so friendly. Anytime we ask for directions, people are so willing to help (even if that means taking a little detour).

Today, we went back to CIPI and chatted with the girls while they were doing their "talleres," which are the hours when they learn how to sew and embroider and things like that. It was really fun to talk to them and hear about what they like to do. It's amazing how positive they are, even when they've experienced such difficulties in their lives.

Lessons from the week:
-It's much easier for me to talk to children in Spanish, because I feel less intimidated.
-I feel pretty comfortable asking for directions and talking to people, even if my Spanish grammar isn't perfect.
-People are fascinating and I will never cease to be amazed at what we/they are capable of.

In other news:
-I've eaten fish twice and liked it....both times it was breaded and fried. Both times delicious.
-Lord of the Rings has beautiful cinematography.
-My Tevas may have been the best purchase I made for this trip.

More pictures, soon!

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to an invitation to your mother's home after you return so you can teach us to make pupusas :) and share about your summer experiences. (I googled "pupusas" and they sound quite good!) And your picture are wonderful!