Saturday, December 28, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas my friends!

I hope you had a lovely holiday.  I had a good Christmas.  A bit sad to miss out on my family Christmas, but it was still nice.  I went to Guatemala for Christmas and celebrated with the family that I used to stay with every summer in El Salvador (and they moved to Guatemala several years ago).  We had a full house with lots of Christmas fun.  Their oldest came home from college in Arkansas and it was so nice to get to see her.  She's loving college and is really excited about all of the opportunities she has.

Here's a picture of the family waiting in the cold wind for her to arrive at the airport.

The celebration starts on Christmas eve, that's when the big meal is served and then gifts are opened at midnight and all the neighbors light fireworks.  Not the silly little ones we do (like sparklers), but slightly smaller versions of a big firework display in the sky.  

Christmas day we went up to a mountain for a favorite restaurant and then to a beautiful site with stores, restaurants and a big field and playground and horseback riding.  Lots of pictures were taken.

I came back to El Salvador on the 26th, and my souvenier was a sore throat!  I'm hoping that it is a result of too much time on the road with the pollution and not that I'm getting sick again.  Not fun.  This week will be filled with more counseling, more holiday fun and a bit of sadness that it's my last week of vacation before school starts again. :)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A car at last!

Well, my first week back from the visiting California was a bit frustrating.  I don't know if it was because i'd switched cultural gears and was no longer patient, or if my patience just naturally came to an end :)

But my week back I was excited to be returning and I had two possible cars to buy that both didn't work out and the kids at school were crazy with me returning and it being the last week before vacation, and then through other circumstances all of my counseling appointments were canceled.  So, i ended the first week pretty frustrated.

This last week has been quite the opposite though!  I found a car.  It's quite large especially when compared to a smart car (which is just slightlly smaller than it).  It's a 2007 Hyundai ATOS.  I googled it to compare prices and only found comparisons in South Africa.  (after some currency conversions, I did discover that it was being sold at a reasonable price).  It's a manual transmission - which I did better than expected with after not having driven a 5 spd for 6 years!  I've been driving for 5 days and have yet to kill myself, anyone else or get so lost i have had to call someone for help! I'm pretty proud of this accomplishment.

Counseling this week has also not been boring.  Had a great session with the group at the women's shelter and also ended up helping with a crisis at the orphanage I've been helping at.  A bit of an emotional breakdown by one of the children a few days ago and today we ended up checking him in to the hospital (their equivalent of a 5150).

My spanish blunder to entertain you with this week is that I accidently said that there was an eyeball in the butter instead of garlic in the butter.  you're welcome.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanks Holidays for the break!

Clearly the holiday season has begun because people have been too busy to harass me about failing to post anything new in my blog for a few weeks :)
So, I've had a bit of an adventure lately.  Originally, I had intended to go to Costa Rica for a week to deal with renewing my visa to stay in the country.  Long story, but I ended up not being able to take the bus and the flights were the same cost to go to Costa Rica as to go home.  So I spent the last 2 weeks in Fresno getting to enjoy family.  I got to see so many people because they were arriving for thanksgiving, but I flew back to El Salvador on Thanksgiving morning (because the flight was much cheaper then).

So, I'm just trying to re-acclimate back.  My skin and hair have resented the traveling back and forth between the two climates so frequently, but at least the bugs and mosquitoes are happy about my return!

I've got a mechanic checking out a car and if all is well I think I will end up with a car this week!  It shall be strange to have a bit of freedom and flexibility in my schedule back.

Hope everyone has enjoyed Thanksgiving and the beginning of the Christmas season!  Miss you all! (or probably most of you anyways :] )