Sunday, November 05, 2006

oh tigers.....

i just love how the tigers like to set records....too bad they´re for things like most losses in a season and most errors in a world series. ugh. but here´s the upside - they made it to the world series, right? i watched all of the games and surprisingly didn´t find myself totally down in the dumps loss after loss. but you know, like my dad said, tony larussa hasn´t won a series - it was about time. and the cards had been devastated year after year of making it to the playoffs and world series and losing. so yes, the errors one after the other were pretty hard to believe and at one point, even comical. i mean, you know it´s bad when you´re thinking ¨i hope he doesn´t fall down¨ on a routine fly to left field. i mean, seriously, who does that? well, i do. one time during co-ed softball back in cleveland i had a fly ball coming to me and it was so simple, i had it in my sights...just had to move up a little bit. no problem. edging up to it....and bam! down i go. totally tripped over this slight incline in the field. my ex-boyfriend said it looked like a sniper took me out i went down so fast and clean. the ball landed next to my head, which i had slammed on the ground when i fell. i saw the ball out of the corner of my eye and i was like ¨d´oh!¨ oh well. at least it wasn´t a pattern or anything.

i just got back from an EXTREMELY long viaje to the department of la unión. some of us went out to my friend nate´s site to celebrate his birthday. his site is pretty much on the opposite end of the country as me....and a lot hotter. but it was nice to see open pastures and the laziness that comes with the real campo. i´m literally surrounded by forests, almost all of which are coffee and there´s not very much open space. and living in the pueblo...there´s never a lazy or dull moment. which believe me, can be soooo nice! so despite being a lot hotter than apaneca, i enjoyed seeing nate´s site and his community. although, somehow i feel like a huge failure in my site after visiting him and seeing all he´s accomplished. he´s a go-getter, has fantastic spanish and it´s hard sometimes to remember that we´re all different and we´re doing our own things, as well as having our own frustrations. but nate - damn that dude is pretty much the definition of what being in the peace corps is about. not that i don´t try or´s just, well, different.

so moving on. literally, moving on, or in i should say. i moved last weekend into a house. finalmente! i´m really glad because i have more room and i can do work there as well has have kids groups there. it´s so super fine! i remember saying that i would never move again after i moved out of my last apartment in cleveland. well, there i was doing the whole boxes thing again in el salvador.

meanwhile, the fucking post office LOST a package from my mom that had my much needed new pants in it. i gave away a bunch of clothes that were too big for me and was waiting, waiting, waiting for some new ones from my mom (i won´t even get into how shopping for pants here is completely ridiculous). well wouldn´t you know it, that package never came. ever. i´ve received other packages and letters. but the one with my birthday stuff is lost and my pants are probably being worn by some salvadoran somewhere. jerks! i might be changing my address to apaneca because they moved to a new location and i can get a post office box right here. so if you want to send me anything, hold off until i know for sure if i´m changing my address. mmmkay?

i´m ready for school to end. really ready. it´s basically over - this last week they have exams and then it´s off until january. like i said, i´m ready. although i did a charla the other week about butterflies with the first graders....their life cycle, what kinds of butterflies live in el salvador, etc. and after the lesson i took them out to the bosque by the cancha to look for butterflies. i wanted them to look at the colors and how they flew and everything. and this one little girl saw one and was like ¨look, there´s one! it´s putting it´s eggs on the leaf!¨ (that´s the first step in the life cycle of the butterfly...the female butterfly lays its eggs on a leaf.) and it just made me laugh and i was happy because i knew that at least one kid got something from that charla.

i´m posting some pictures i´ve been wanting to post for a while. there´s bear with me. but they´re cool. but i do want to point out something and maybe you can see why it can be frustrating around here sometimes. below are pictures of bessy´s last day at the school, the independence day parades ( for the surrounding communities around apaneca and one for apaneca itself), and then for dia de los niños. all of these occurred within two months, as well as another fiesta for parvularia that i wasn´t present for because i was in guatemala. coming up this next week is graduación for parvularia and 6th grade and another end-of-the-year celebration.

fiestas might sound like fun, and they are, but they can get a little annoying. one for every damn thing that happens around here. and they totally take away from the kids´ education. they practice their routines during school time. not to mention the fact that whoever is selected to be part of a routine for a parade, their mom/dad have to buy material to have a dress or outfit made for the event. and explain me this? mirna had a meeting with the kids in 6th grade the other day and their parents to discuss the outfits they would wear for graduación...buying the material, what color shirts, what color dresses, etc. but here´s the thing...only 1 girl (ONE!!!!) and 2 boys (maybe two, maybe even only one as well) are going onto 7th grade next year. what.the.fuck? why in god´s name are they gonna spend all this money to celebrate the fact that they´re going to become either part of the ¨work force¨ here or become mothers at age 13 or 14 after ¨graduación?¨ i don´t get it. i really don´t. yet, there i´ll be with my camera in hand. ugh.


the kindergarten kids (not all of them) put on a little dance show for bessy

lileana (first grade) and her little brother fernando (in kinder)...they´re like a little dance duo...they sing and dance together.

jorge (first grade) and his little brother abel (supposedly in kinder but never comes to school)...these kids are soooo cute...and i love their family. their mom, niña milagro, is so nice. there are two older brothers in 3rd and 6th grade that are equally cute!

these little punks made my week of teaching kindergarten HELL! jaime, omar, marlon & fernando....ugh. but they are still adorable.

elba, bessy, mirna and i at the end of bessy´s last day....super sad!


the teachers and i (and antonio who´s taking the picture) at the pupuseria

elba and the new kindergarten teacher, maria laura


the singing of the national anthem.....dude, that´s a long song...i think it outdoes free bird. of the girls in kindergarten dressed in a traditional dress

the ¨chiparristas¨ that were selected for the parade from san jorge....i don´t think any girl in el salvador has not been a chiparrista once in her life.

lupita (in kindergarten)

one of the families from san jorge, with their two daughters rosalva and maria (in the traditional dress). their grandmother (!!!) is on the right.


these are pics from apaneca´s independence day parade. there were two schools that were in the parade, the catholic school, san andres and the public school, san francisco menendez. there were girls and boys dressed up as representatives from the other four countries that participate in the central american alliance - costa rica, guatemala, honduras and nicaragua. the flag for el salvador has five volcanoes on it that represent the five countries and the volcanic rich soil that makes up the land here.

hee hee....these are the ¨important people¨ from apaneca. the woman in the white pantsuit is the mother of new kindergarten teacher at my school (maria laura...maria laura is also elba´s cousin, making the woman above elba´s aunt....this past year, i´ve come to learn that elba and pedro´s family make up a LOT of apaneca); the guy in the suit next to maria laura´s mom is that creepy licenciado guy (in charge of overseeing the schools in this area) that comes to the school all the time and gives me a kiss on the cheek every time he sees me...INCLUDING this day! he came over to where i was standing and was like ¨buenas dias laurita!¨ what-ever; the guy with the cowboy hat is the mayor of apaneca. he wears this outfit to every major function and people think he looks like some famous ranchero singer; the guy in the gray shirt is pedro, elba´s (not) husband who works for the mayor as a deputy; the guy in the white shirt and tie is the director of the casa de cultura here in apaneca. they were all at the front of the parade.

san andres school....all the teachers from san andres wore oscar romero t-shirts in the parade which i thought was really cool.

san andres´s band

el salvador




costa rica

kids from san andres

the kids from san francisco menendez (the public school)

the die-hard chipparistas

the end of the parade was in front of the mercado and park

the back of the unfinished catholic church and the end of the parade.......but wait......, it´s not over! there´s this huge group of people in apaneca that are totally against the ARENA mayor....they say he´s corrupt and bringing shame to the pueblo. they´re not politically-affiliated, but all share one thing: a desire to get the mayor, oscar guzman, out of office. those who are part of this group hang black flags by their houses and even got t-shirts made with sayings like ¨unidad por la dignidad de apaneca¨ and things like that. they hang banners up in front of their houses. and during the independence day parade, they marched at the end of the parade, and even at one intersection, they stood at the end of the street, directly in front of where the mayor and that group of people in the photo above were going. it was great! they have what are called manifestaciones, which is basically a parade and they shout things in megaphones about how the mayor is corrupt and everything and everyone wears black. and here´s another funny tidbit....pedro obviously works for the mayor, but his mom is totally against the mayor and is part of this group. and it´s hilarious because she´s STRONGLY against the mayor and always has these huge banners in front of her house and then pedro has to walk over there and see that.

one of the streets in apaneca, just before another storm moved in

the still unfinished catholic church...slowly getting rebuilt

another street in apaneca

and another


yes......more dancing!

lileana and fernando doing another show, this time dressed as campesinos

piñatas of the coolest kids in the first grade

punk fifth and sixth graders

norma ¨the dancer¨ all the girls want to be like her, and all the boys well.....she´s only in fourth grade and i hope to god she stays away from boys at least until she´s 16.


here´s just a couple pictures from the butterfly lesson i did with the 2nd graders

after the charla i had the kids all take a piece of paper which was one step in the life cycle of a butterfly and each kid had to stand where they thought their part was. it was really funny and of course, some kids took charge and directed where other kids should go...but they LOVED it and it was fun.

three girls in second grade...we were out looking for butterflies behind the school.