Tuesday, April 24, 2007

First Weeks in San Miguel

The last three months of my fellowship are going to be spent in the eastern part of El Salvador, in San Miguel. San Miguel is the third largest city in El Salvador. I've already been back to San Salvador twice, going a third time on Wednesday, and went to Cuidad Barrios today. Planning to go to Gotera and San Fernando, up by Perquin, on Thursday. It's really, really hot in San Miguel right now, which is draining me of energy by noontime, leaving me pretty much useless in the afternoons. My room is vaguely unpacked, but I'm going from having a whole apartment to myself to sharing what is not really a complete apartment, so there's not space for all the junk I've accumulated. I finally decided to just not unpack everything.

Things I like about San Miguel: really friendly people, the volcano, the licuados, the track that's three blocks away from where I live, the smell of meat cooking in the streets, the tortillas, the fact that they play more salsa, merengue, and bachata here, and the market that I can also walk to. Oh, and it appears that you can domicilio most anything, a feature of life in Colombia that I truly missed.

Things I don't like: dehydration and living at work.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Semana santa travels

So, this holy week/spring break was spent road trip style in Honduras, El Salvador, and maybe an hour in Guatemala. Opie came down from Detroit, so we packed up my car and headed off to Copán with Edwin, another friend from San Sal, to meet up with ELF Allyson and Malcon. Copán is really very close to San Sal, only about 3.5 hours away, and a nice place. I wish we'd stayed around there longer...they had bagels, and other strange foreign influences for being such a small town. Copán ruins were okay, but I should have brushed up on my Mayan history before going, since we didn't pay for a guide. Getting into the ruins was unfortunately extremely expensive as a foreigner, and the pass only good for one day.

It was then on to el lago de Yojoa, a very nice waterfall at Pulhapanzak, Comayagua, and the capital, Tegucigalpa. In all, it was a great trip in my car, although I wish we could have seen more. What did I learn about El Salvador in the process? (1) the roads are way better here, (2) the tortillas are yummier east of the Lempa River, (3) they spray your car with pesticide when you cross the border back into the country, (4) their police stops actually manage to slow people down for a little bit on the highways, even if they don't have the cute life-sized cardboard cutouts of police officers set up at each stop, and (5) not everyone likes pupusas that much!

Check out the pictures from Honduras below:
Semana Santa 2007