Monday, November 20, 2006

feliz día de pavo

ewww, i’m sick again. i’m pretty sure i got sick when i went down to guaymango last week....i drank some horchata that was kind of sketchy. i started feeling a bit sick that day and then by saturday i was done for. it feels like all kinds of creatures are growing in my stomach right now. but i’m going into the office this week for my one year medical evaluation, so i’m sure whatever i have will get taken care of then. so that’s good. let’s see, what else has been going on. this past week courtney came to visit me and then megan came up on saturday. i made sopa de pollo for the first time, with antonio´s help (which, if you understand this culture, is unheard of....a salvadoran guy helping cook anything...) and it was sooooo good. there was a fiesta here in apaneca all’s like the month of fiestas because the last week in november is the fiesta de patronales here. the patron saint of apaneca is san andrés apostal....i don’t know if i ever wrote that down or not.

oh, here is my new mailing address….after the first of the year i´ll have an apartado postal, but for the time being, you can just send things to the post office´s general address in apaneca and just put my name at the top. here´s the address:

avenida 15 de abril y 3° calle oriente
barrio santiago
apaneca, ahuachapán
el salvador
america central

anyway, lately, apaneca has been living up to it’s nahuat meaning – river of wind. jeez, i feel like i’m standing atop the tallest building in the world it’s so windy. which makes it coooooold. my house is cold too because it’s all drafty – none of the windows or doors in houses in el salvador have any kind of sealing or anything. the windows are just glass slats and so air gets in with no problem. so my house is really chilly. i have a corner of sun on my patio that i can go out and sit under in the morning. but then it moves behind the roof of the second floor of the building i’m in so that’s that. if you remember my entry from last thanksgiving, i was on my site visit and i was miserable because i was unprepared for the cold in apaneca. i´m not miserable now because i have all the appropriate clothing....but it´s still cold!

i can’t wait to eat thanksgiving dinner! we (me, courtney, mark and my other friend sara e.) are eating dinner on thursday at the home of someone who works for the u.s. embassy in san salvador. they said we could use the embassy pool earlier in the day and then we eat dinner later. i’m looking forward to that and i hope, hope, hope they have pumpkin pie! with cool whip of course. but whatever they have will be great, i’m sure. i told my friend eric this the other day, but did you know that the u.s. embassy in san salvador is apparently one of the biggest in the world? here are some other el salvador stats…..el salvador has the 4th largest number of people that emigrate to the states. and apparently, according to newsweek magazine international, the people of el salvador are the second happiest people in the world. but el salvador is also the #1 most dangerous latin american country in the world….including colombia!? what?

not much else to report. maybe i’ll tell a story about the area...well, it’s a legend actually. but anyways, it’s actually kind of cool. it goes like this.....

so there are two lagunas above apaneca which i’ve told you about before: laguna las ninfas and laguna verde. well, in-between the two is a giant “hoyo” or hole that is super deep. when you are crossing the ridge between laguna las ninfas to laguna verde, you pass over this hoyo and at the bottom are some milpas – corn/bean crops that farmers have planted – taking advantage of one of the only flat spots in the area. anyway, legend has it that way back when, some guatemalans came to this area and were passing by the lagunas and at the time, the hoyo was filled with water.....just like the other two lagunas. when they got to the spot where the hoyo is, one man took the water out of the hoyo for their trip back to guatemala. he put the water in a bottle and put it in his shirt pocket and they continued on towards guatemala. then, when they got near where the city of ahuachapán is located, the man tripped over a rock and the bottle fell out of his pocket, spilling the water on the ground. and that is how laguna el espino (which is near ahuachapán....and looks totally out of place) came to be. when you’re standing on the ridge between the two lagunas, and overlooking the hoyo, you can look out across the vista and see laguna el espino in the distance.

so that’s the legend about el hoyo and laguna el espino. so here are some more miscellaneous pictures. good times!

also, here is a great article about el salvador if you´d like some reading!

the street looking to the right of my house (my house is behind the green door on the right side of the photo)

the street looking to the left

me and courtney trying to get some sun in the corner of my patio

antonio helping cut the chicken for the sopa de pollo

the sopa cooking

antonio chilling in the hamaca while we all waited for the sopa to cook

megan, me and courtney at the fiesta on saturday

graduación...this is carolina, escorted by her brother at the graduación for kinder and 6th grade last thursday

ever (with his kindergarten degree) and his escort

little heydi, she´s getting big (she´s ever´s sister)

jimena and her escort, fernando

the graduating kindergarten kids

lupita, cristian and francisco...they´re siblings. poor kids, their dad was killed a couple years ago when he was driving a bus. some dude got on and shot him.....the kids still talk about their dad like he´s still around.

wendy and her escort (whose suit totally did not fit him, but was adorable)

this is abby, one of my peace corps friends.....this was out at nate´s site in la unión

me and abby trying to cut the calabeza to eat later....didn´t really work out as we had planned

courtney with her mini burrito

courtney and abby


nate blowing out his birthday candle on a cake that one of the families in his town got for him