Last night I sat on my front porch with the lights off and watched the end of “summer” dramatically roll into town in the form of giant cumulonimbus anvils silhouetted by the constant stream of lightning within them. Wow look at my fancy sentences! I’ve been reading fancy books. I say “summer” in quotes because as you may recall, the change of seasons here has nothing to do with a change in temperature. In fact, it feels hotter now than ever because of the humidity. But at least the dust has turned to mud, the brown is slowly turning green, sticks in the ground are slowly becoming sticks with flowers on them, and the river is running again. I have a lot of good stories to tell and here is one of them…
A few weeks ago, we celebrated Semana Santa (the week of Good Friday-Easter) which is Central America’s biggest holiday and for the most part their version of MTV Spring Break with a dash of Jesus. In some places, the religious aspect dominates the celebrations (as it should Mom!) with somber marches through the streets behind men clothed in purple hooded gowns (that would probably not go over too well in the States) carrying a giant cross. But here everyone seemed to ask not, “what are you doing for Semana Santa?” but rather “where are you swimming for Semana Santa?” My answer was El Salvador and it was amazing. A couple easy bus rides took us straight to our beach paradise destination that would be our home for the week. The first thing I saw was Steve, who came to meet us from Guatemala, gazing at the ocean meticulously combing his mustache with his thumb and index finger. He had his token young European traveler friend in tow. The rest of the week was spent either in a hammock, in a hammock chair, bouncing on top of waves, being crushed to the ocean floor by waves, eating pupusas, or having adventures in the sand. The trip was given an extra bonus when my friend from high school, Drew, arrived with his two friends Jeff and Kyle. We all shaved mustaches and had a glorious time. Lucky for us, the ladies thought ahead and had fake mustaches sent from the states so that everyone could join in on the festivities. Drew caught me up on the news from H-town and which members of our old crew now have real life jobs and/or real life kids. The three of them came back to my town for a night and played a dusty game of soccer with the locals. Try to imagine the town’s reaction upon seeing not one but THREE gringos walking their streets one of them with a giant surfboard under his arm. I was proved wrong: it is indeed possible to be stared at even more. On a side note: I recently discovered that I attract more attention than most volunteers. They complain when they walk around with me that more people yell at them than usual. Yeah they complain. I have to live like that!
Back to work. My days are kept pretty busy with English class for the teachers, teeth brushing with the littleuns, music class where we make homemade instruments and learn about the world through music (my fav obv), reading tutoring, and this and that. Life has been good. Unfortunately, part of the experience is that every 6 months I have to say goodbye to good friends that have finished their service and are going home. Last weekend was Joel’s despedida and he will be greatly missed (tear). Almost every adventure of the past 7 months has involved Joel and I’m already looking forward to seeing him again in a little more than a year (more like a little less than a year and a half but you get the point). Here are some pictures from Steve and others! The Shampoo Effect is the name of the band Steve and I started while he was here. We play mostly weird semi-offensive electronic music. A few sample song titles are “No Juice Mondays” “The thing is…there’s no mayonnaise” and “You fit my chest hole.” The last one is inspired by the fact that my sternum caves in quite a bit creating a cavity in which the perfectly sized hand, perfectly cupped, can push down on top of it and make a funny toot noise.
Enjoy the pics! Amapala sunset, my neighbor, my shower/bathroom/wash area, my house, my boys (ryan, luke, and steve)