Hello everyone! We´re in Suchitoto now, north of San Salvador. I was here in 2007 for about a week and it´s so nice to be somewhere familiar, to know where things are and to see old friends. Today was a bust. I woke up and thought I was getting an ear infection but I think I just have some conjestion in my ears or something. In any case, it feels like my head is underwater, which makes me feel woozy so I didn´t do anything today. I´m disappointed because I missed out on visiting a village called El Bario, where I stayed for a night in 2007 and I was looking forward to seeing people there again. Oh well, I´ll just have to come back again someday! Suchitoto is pretty awesome. It´s a pretty town close to a lake so it attracts some tourism and is a central point for several different volunteer groups so there are lots of interesting people from the US and other places. I´ve become friends with a woman named Elizabeth from Kentucy who´s here working on an organic farm and I met two other neat people, Jess and Memo, last night. These are the kind of people that I could never see again, but would love to stay in touch with. Thank god for Facebook, right?
This message is stenciled on the wall of many houses here in Suchitoto. It says ¨In this house, we want a life free of violence towards women¨ This was a project started by Sister Peggy, a Catholic nun who has been doing work in El Salvador for like 30 years. She´s not just a nun...she´s a kick-ass nun! (Is it okay to refer to a nun as kick-ass? Oh well, she´s so kick-ass, she wouldn´t mind.) She runs the Art Center for Peace in town and is one of those all around great people who ¨get it¨.
Check it out, they put up signs so people would know Rolene and I are coming! Sweet.
These next four photos are from the land of a great family we met while walking between Santa Ana and Suchitoto. We were walking along and someone called out in English, ¨Hey, they look like Americans!¨ I don´t know what gave us away...
We went over to say hi and learned that Alex and his brother and parents were working on developing the land that has been in the family for a few generations. They all lived in San Jose, CA for about 30 years but in the past few years have all come to work on the land, planting cacao, coffee, and other trees. They dug out a pool and have started farming talapia and have lots of great ideas for making the land productive and sustainable. We got the grand tour and cold drinks. It was wonderful.
Alex and his parents.
I had no idea that this is how cashews grow. When it matures, a fruit grows above the cashew, kind of in the shape of a pear, with a seriously funky flavor. The fruit is called maraona (or something like that) and is just as important, if not more, than the nut here.
On the road near Santa Ana.
I love it when something useful is done with all the tires that usually end up in garbage piles by the side of the road.