Monday, December 12, 2005

third time´s a charm......not

so saturday i´m washing clothes in the pila, dressed oh-so-fantastic once again (surprise, surprise) when nina teresita is like ¨someone´s here for you.¨ i´m thinking ¨you have got to be kidding me...¨ so i go to the front door of the hostal and there´s tonito and he´s laughing at me, telling me that i must have been sleeping and he´s pointing to my feet. i was wearing a pair of flip-flops, and i´ll admit, the rest of my attire didn´t suggest that i´d NOT been sleeping....but still. it was like 1:30 in the afternoon for crying out loud!!! sure, in the states, i wouldn´t at all be surprised if someone came over on a saturday at 1:30 and insinuated that i had been sleeping, because there would probably be a 90% chance that it was true. but here, in el salvador, it´s almost impossible to sleep that late. in any event, i assured tonito that i was not sleeping, that i had been studying spanish earlier, and that right now i was in the middle of washing my clothes. i was confused as to why he was there, because the last time i talked to him, we left it at that i was going to meet him for that meeting on the 19th. i asked him if he was in apaneca working or something and he´s like ¨no.¨ so i was at a loss as to what else to talk to him about, because i talked a lot with him on thursday, and other than repeating all that stuff, i wasn´t sure what else to chit-chat about. never mind the fact that ít´s hard for me to just ¨chit-chat¨ in spanish! so after a while i was telling him that i couldn´t wait until that night because the pupuseria in my hostal was going to be open (people in el salvador don´t eat pupusas for lunch, only for breakfast or dinner) and i was starving. so that led to the all-important pupusa conversation...what kind do i like? (cheese) do i like them with frijoles? (no, only with cheese and lorroco) what kind of pupusas did they have in san vicente? (same kind as here in apaneca)

- sorry for the interruption, but as i´m typing this...there´s a funeral procession going down the street in front of the internet place....complete with fireworks and a mariachi band...... -

ok, back to the pupusa conversation......anyway, whenever you go to a new community, people want to know what you think of the pupusas and even though it sounds like a pretty quick conversation, it can really get quite lengthy. i always throw in that when i was in suchitoto, i went to a place that had pupusas with spinaca (spinach).....just in case there might be a place here in apaneca that has this awesome variety of pupusas that i don´t know about. anyway - tonito was telling me that there is a place in front of the catholic church that makes pupusas. i was like ¨when do they make them?¨ and he said ¨right now.¨ i was confused because i was certain that nobody served pupusas until at least 3:00. then tonito goes ¨i´m asking you if you want to go.¨ see how these conversations go?? how i missed that he was inviting me to go with him is beyond me. i thought we were just talking about them. in any event, i was all for that and i agreed immediately.
so we left the hostal and went to the corner and he´s like ¨we have to wait for the bus.¨ ok, again, what was he talking about??? i might have been new in town, but i certainly wasn´t THAT dumb. i thought, there is no way you need to take a bus to the´s friggin´ down the damn street!!! so i just kind of looked at him confused, and then he goes ¨we have to take the bus to ataco.¨ OHHHHHHHH!!!! then i got it......he had been talking about ataco - a town a little bit north of san jorge - and it was here that he wanted to get pupusas. so i pretended i knew all along that that´s what he meant. so we took the microbus up there and as it turned out, which i had no idea, there was a fiesta de patronales going on that weekend. so there was a parade and there were tons of people there. we watched the parade, then he took me over to the catholic church which is really cool. then we went back over to this pupuseria on the corner of the street we were just by (nowhere near the church....i don´t know what he was talking about, the pupusa place in front of the church) and his two friends -edwin and mario - were there, sitting in front of the pupuseria. they were two of the most hilarious salvadorans i´ve met here. but i was right, they weren´t making pupusas until 3:30, but apparently because tonito knows the old lady that runs the place, she agreed to make us some. anyway, we then finally ate our food and hung out with his friends for a while. then edwin asked me if i like yucca....which, of course, i do. it´s one of the best things´s kind of like a potato. anyway, so next thing i know, all four of us are walking down the street to this little place that serves yucca. that´s the thing here....people ask you if you like something, and if you say ¨yes,¨ the next thing you know, they´re shoving a plate of it in front of you. you can´t just say you like something just for information purposes. if you say you like a certain type of food, then there´s a 99% chance that you´re going to be eating it within 5 minutes.

so i stuffed myself full of yucca - yucca that had some sort of ensalada on top of it, along with bacon - until i couldn´t eat another bite. then tonito asks me if i want to leave. i said ¨sure¨ so we left edwin and mario and then walked back over to the church. i guess he wanted me to see it with all the lights on or something. then we stopped at this tienda in the mercado and he kept pointing at the wall and i´m like ¨what now??¨ after about two minutes, i finally realized that he was pointing to the christmas lights. i had told him sometime during the day that i wanted to get some christmas lights for my after i put all this together, i ended up getting a set of christmas lights. it was getting late, so we decided to leave ataco. then on the way back he´s like ¨there is a meeting tomorrow that you could go to.¨ so apparently, i agreed to go to a meeting with him the following day somewhere near san jorge.

which is exactly what we did. he came to get me in the afternoon and we went up to this tiny caserio way up in the middle of the coffee forest where he was holding a meeting with some of the people from the town. apparently, the town - los doblones (not sure if that´s spelled right) - wants to become a canton...which is bigger than a caserio. so they have to get support from everyone in the town, but they are having problems with that. why tonito is helping them with this, i don´t know...given that he´s the promotor de salud for the san jorge area. in any event, there were like 10 people there, including mario, and it seemed like the people that were there were really excited about moving forward. i, of course, did not understand the entire meeting, but i think i got most of it. plus, i got to meet a lot more people - which is what i´m supposed to be doing for 3 months. so when the meeting was over tonito and mario were like ¨want to go back to ataco for the last day?¨ so because i had nothing else planned, i agreed. there were a lot more people there that day. tonito and i met up with his mom, his sister and his younger brother in the park. there was this huge long discussion about my age and how they couldn´t believe i was 33, blah, blah, blah.....and it was really embarassing. anyway, we left them and went back to the pupuseria and got more food there. then we returned to the park where there was this concert going on with this cool band that was playing musica tradicional. all in all i had a great weekend. i met lots of different people and i finally feel like there are a couple of people here that can help me meet even more people - especially in san jorge.

i´m posting pictures below from the last days at my family´s house in molineros, as well as the whole swearing in festivities......


me, mama rosa and sindy with ana´s rosas blancas


sindy, ana, me, dayana, mama rosa, mama viviana (papa ovidio´s mother) and jessie (ana´s sister)

the salvadoran workday.......this dude was ¨working¨ at the kitchen in the bar where we spent our night before swearing in

anna, me and megan the night before swearing in

papa ovidio, me and ana at the ambassador´s house the day of the swearing in

the entire agroforestry/environmental ed and youth development group 2005!! (minus of my good friends here)

the agroforestry/environmental ed group (minus brendan, courtney and armeda)

me, kate and anna at the bar after the swearing in