Tuesday, June 03, 2008

on why i would make a lousy meteorologist

besides the fact that i would be horrified be taped, live, standing in front of a green screen, trying to coordinate my hand movements with a map of the united states and clouds and suns and temperatures that are visible to the viewers, but aren´t actually visible to me, with a smile plastered on my face and my hair formed into an updo, i would never, ever, be able to make a correct enough prediction as to what the weather will do in five minutes, let alone overnight or the next day.

what i´m getting at is the fact that last friday, if you readers will recall, i talked about how tropical depression alma, didn´t really affect us here at all. and i also wrote about how it hasn´t rained very much at all around here, despite us being a month into the rainy season. let´s just say i was pretty much waaaaay off the mark on that one. remember how i said that it started pouring while i was typing my last entry? well, it hasn´t stopped. it is STILL raining, and it´s TUESDAY! i haven´t seen the sun since friday morning. school has been all but cancelled, not because the ministerio de educación has cancelled school, but because no kids have come to school because it has been pouring rain every single minute of the day. and the cold.......holy mother of god is it cold. you know, when i visited lago atitlán in guatemala back in 2006, i bought this wool blanket in the market. i remember after we visited the lake, we went to the beach in monterico, and i as i lugged that bag with my new wool blanket in it, i thought ¨what in god´s name was i thinking buying this damned blanket?¨ it was 100 million degrees with a 100 million degrees of humidity and i was carrying around a WOOL BLANKET? but am i ever glad i purchased that thing. that and the scarf i knitted (i finished it on thursday, as a matter of fact) have been my saving grace in this cold, november-like (well, november in ohio) rain.

seriously, i haven´t seen so much rain in one continuous stretch since hurricane stan, back when i was living in molineros and trapped in my host family´s house for two weeks. let´s pause for a minute while i remember that lovely lockdown....me and anna trying to get to spanish class at megan´s host family´s house, me going out of mind with the constant sound of rain for a week straight, my first experience with mold growing on not only everything i own, but on me as well, a volcano eruption, me not being able to speak spanish......ahh, such good times! so why all the rain now? well, it IS the rainy season. but aside from that, apparently, after ¨alma¨ dumped it´s share of agua on us, next came ¨arthur¨ with it´s buckets and buckets of cold, sleet-like rain. after the news channels here decided to stop airing footage of the salvadoran airplane that crashed at honduras´s airport on friday, they were kind enough to start reporting on ¨las lluvias¨ that have been inundating el salvador for five days. they stated that the parts of the country that have been most affected are the western departments and the higher elevated areas. bingo! where´s apaneca? the westernmost department and lucky for us, it´s at one of the highest elevations in the country! i´m not complaining though. for the most part, i was waiting for the rain to come and it´s not like i have to go anywhere. not like back in the states when i had jobs with time cards or only a certain number of ¨days off.¨ if the weather is crappy here, most likely everyone else is staying at home, indoors, because of the ¨mal tiempo.¨ i called the school on monday to see how it was and elba is like ¨DON´T COME HERE!!! IT´S TOO DANGEROUS!!!¨ ok, ok, i get the message! anyway, i don´t know if it´s dangerous as much as it´s just a hassle.

the good thing is because we live in the mountains, all the rain basically just flows downhill after it hits the ground. i would HATE to live in the lower-lying areas, where everything eventually ends up. the only scary thing about the rains is the fact that the ground here is really susceptible to ¨derrumbes,¨ or landslides. the highway that runs past apaneca is basically a mountain road, and either way you go - to sonsonate to the south, or ahuachapan to the north - the highway weaves around and around, hugging the mountain. all the earth and rocks and trees that make up the beautiful mountains can fall at any minute.

i´m supposed to go visit courtney on thursday (not sure if i´ll end up swimming there or taking the bus), and once again, i´m left with what i like to call ¨the clothes decision.¨ you see, every time i have to go to the capital or i´m going up to visit courtney, i´m at a loss of what to wear. not because of my non-existent fashion sense, but because when i get up in the morning here in apaneca it´s so COLD. i´m talking scarves, gloves, winter hats and coats cold. sometimes it´s also raining like cats and dogs. so i dress accordingly.....hiking shoes, jeans, long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt. by the time i´ve made it to san salvador i´m sweating like a pig, obviously. all i want are my flip-flops and tank top. i end up making the return trip with all this cargo in clothes and shoes that weigh my backpack down and leave me wishing i´d have not worn jeans or brought those heavy shoes. then the bus starts making it´s ascent just outside of sonsonate, and by the time the bus has left juayua and is climbing, climbing, climbing the mountains to apaneca, i wish i would have worn the jeans and put on the hiking shoes.

like i said in the beginning, i´m horrible at predictions and being prepared. good thing i´m just a peace corps volunteer and not a meteorologist! adios for now!