Friday, November 10, 2006

slowing down

life´s just started getting a little slower in the savior, at least for me. i´m sure salvadorans consider their daily rounds with the trapeador, un ratitos standing in their front doors staring at everyone who walks by and multiple trips to the lady making pasteles as exciting. but for me, well, it´s not. i´m not complaining, though. i´m glad school´s out for´s giving me a little time to organize myself and get some projects ready for next year. and you know, at least i live in a pueblo - a cool pueblo at that. i can leave my house for a bit during the day, even if it IS just to pretend i have something important to do, just to walk through and around town and back to my portón verde.

that´s not to say that there are a lot of fun things coming up (which i´ve already told you about). it´s just that with going to the school almost every day my day was pretty busy - not like stock market busy - but busy because i was interacting with people and working on a charla or an activity or something every day. but now that school´s out, i wander around my house, stare at the plants on my patio trying to watch them grow, read books and resist the urge to stand in my front door like the rest of the people in town do. also, i´m really in dire need of some plastic chairs. why in god´s name would i need PLASTIC chairs? because they´re the thing to have here and they´re the most comfortable sitting arrangement here outside of the old crusty sofas that a lot of people have. i never in my life thought i´d want plastic chairs either, believe me. but all i have to sit on right now is a bed and two wooden chairs, and those chairs are uncomfortable as all hell. plus i don´t want to drag them inside and outside every day. i´m going hamaca hunting this weekend. wish me luck!

i did walk down to the hostal today to chat with niña teresita´s family. she wasn´t there, but the rest of the gang was and marilin´s mom was so happy to see me. i must have talked to her for an hour and a half and she kept saying she missed me. which is surprising because i never really talked to her that much when i was living there. and now that i´m gone it´s like i was their favorite resident of all time.

so why don´t i talk for un ratito about the elections? that was some day of elections, huh? how does it feel having all those democrats trounce out the GOP? i got not one, but two phone calls from antonio the morning after the elections to tell me the democrats ¨won¨ (the first phone call) and that in ohio, the democrats ¨won¨ (the second phone call). antonio has a television, with CNN español, and knew i didn´t have any access to anything tuesday so he was nice enough to be my link to the rest of the world (like when detroyes beat the a´s in the ALCS). later that day on wednesday i trekked to the cyber cafe to check the internets and oh my god, could i have been bombarded more with articles and analyses and what-nots? i have to admit, i was glad not to be around for all the hoopla: the ads, the flyers, the door-to-door did you vote workers, the phone calls, etc. and you know, i´m beginning to think that my leaving the united states is a good thing for everyone. i leave, the tigers have not only a winning record, but go to the damn world series. i leave, election day isn´t a day to be shrouded in black (as it was on election day 2004). what´s next? are people going to wise up and stop driving their humungous SUV´s and take this whole global warming thing seriously? are CEO´s of giant corporations going to start working honestly? will a hollywood marriage actually last longer than 5 minutes? will the end of a hollywood marriage cease to be ¨news¨ on the major news websites? i mean, it seems only good things can happen now that i´ve left the states, right?!

meanwhile, did you all see that ortega won the presidency in nicaragua!? now if only the rest of central america could wise up and go with the left so that the poor people at least have a chance. i´m not saying ortega´s gonna solve all the poor´s problems, but i have to say i do think the poor have more of a chance with ortega in office. the right ain´t doing shit for the people down here.

i found out the other day that the mayor of apaneca only has a second-grade education. yes, you read that right. the MAYOR of apaneca only finished the second grade. hell, the president of el salvador only has a high school education. antonio told me he had a friend that worked in the mayor´s office (in apaneca) the first year that the mayor got elected in 1994. apparently, this friend had to help the mayor sign documents because he couldn´t do it himself. yes, again, you read that right. the mayor couldn´t read or even sign his own name. and he was elected mayor. and has been elected mayor every 3 years since. there are diputados (el salvador´s version of representatives) that only have 6th grade educations. and they´re making laws! how is this possible you ask? this is a developing country and it´s not the united states. corruption is a major factor. poor people are threatened to vote for certain candidates or they´ll lose their $3 a day jobs cutting coffee or working in the fincas. family history of voting a certain way plays a part. and in 1994, when the mayor of apaneca was first elected, el salvador was just coming off the horrible war. the left did not come out looking good especially on this side of the country where the military massacres weren´t happening every day like they were in the east (which is more heavily fmln than here on my end). it was easy to overlook what was really going on when it wasn´t happening in their backyards....especially when at that time the only source of information was the newspaper and scant newschannels which i´m sure weren´t reporting the full stories. but i wasn´t there, so all i can do is base my opinions on what people have told me or things that i have read.

on the flip side, as i told antonio, the president of the united states not only has a college education, but went to one of the most prestigious universities in the u.s. and he´s not so bright. so go figure. but still, second goddamned grade?

so expect more entries about boring things like my athlete´s foot (which is slowly going away, but only with the almightiest willpower i can muster not to scratch till my heart´s content). i guess i should say that life´s not really boring right´s just a lot more slow.

i´m off to stand in my front door now and watch people walk by.