Weekend in Ataco

December 21, 2009 by

Last Sunday we went to Ataco to celebrate Andrew’s Aunt Marta’s birthday. Ataco is one of the little towns that Salvadorans visit during the weekend to walk around the markets and do some shopping. We rented a van and drove through the Ruta de las flores (route of flowers) to get there. On the way we stopped at a little town near Sonsonate (can’t remember the name) to look at some shops that sell typical handmade Salvadoran goods. After that we went to a place called Los Patios that has a restaurant, sells art and, produces coffee. They call it “the patios” because they take all of the coffee and spread it out on the ground (big patios) so that it can dry. It is coffee harvesting time here and considered summer vacation for the kids that go to public school so they can help harvest the coffee. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

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Thanksgiving

December 16, 2009 by

Sorry that this is a little late but not much happened in November.

Thanksgiving was very different for us this year because it is not a holiday here. Generally, the only people that celebrate it are American embassy employees or Salvadorans that are married to Americans. The good things is that Andrew’s grandmother has a friend that was married to an American and they celebrate Thanksgiving every year. She was kind enough to invite us over for a wonderful traditional dinner. However, as the holiday approached it was hard to imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread but we couldn’t find canned pumpkin anywhere. Then Andrew had the brilliant idea to ask someone that we know at the embassy if she knew where we could buy a can of pumpkin. She stated that the only place to buy it was at the US embassy commissary, where we can’t go. The people who work for the embassy help once a month at Habitat for Humanity and one glorious day we arrived at the Habitat office to find a huge can of pumpkin with our names on it. I was so happy, which is quite sad but it felt a little more like Thanksgiving after receiving it. Below is a picture of the pie and bread that I was able to make. They both turned out really well and I’m glad because out of the 12 people at dinner, Andrew and I were the only ones that had ever eaten pumpkin pie or bread.

As a side note, I haven’t done much cooking or baking here but when I have it was an adventure. The oven is off by 150 degrees (too cold). We discovered this because we bought an oven thermometer after a few things turned out poorly.  Now that we have the thermometer, everything is okay.

Last little sliver of pumpkin pie and pumpkin bread

Pictures

November 22, 2009 by

Hey everyone,

Andrew and I are still enjoying our time here in El Salvador and I finally took some pictures with my phone.  I hope that they are good enough to get the idea.

Below are some pictures of Costa Del Sol, San Salvador and a nearby volcano and restaurant on the volcano.  I’m sorry that I couldn’t get them in a specific order.

Andrew, his aunt, one of his cousins, his grandmother and I went for a day to hang out at the beach during a holiday weekend. We went on the holiday, Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead) which is a national holiday here so everyone has the day off.  Also this was the Monday (Nov. 2nd) before the huge floods and landslides that happened on the following Saturday(Nov. 7th).  If you want to see what the beach looked like after the floods go to the following website and look at picture 15.   http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/gallery/2009/11/09/GA2009110902088.html (if this link doesn’t work just Google – Washington Post El Salvador Floods)

After the hard rain stopped on Sunday (Nov. 8th) we went up to a small town on a nearby volcano to have lunch. Here are some pictures while driving through San Salvador, the area surrounding the restaurant  and things along the way.

2 Month Up-date

October 31, 2009 by

Hey everyone!

Andrew and I have been in El Salvador for almost 2 months now and we are enjoying our time here. Our Spanish is getting much better and I hope we’ll be able to use it in the future. Andrew’s grandmother found monthly language courses at a local university for two hours a day, Monday through Friday. I am still attending classes but Andrew is too advanced to continue.   🙂 Also, we hope to do some traveling around El Salvador and possibly Guatemala. El Salvador is actually quite beautiful. There are many volcanoes, lakes and black sand beaches on the Pacific Ocean.   

We have been working with Habitat for Humanity (HFH) for about a month and we love it. The people are amazing and in a country like El Salvador there is a huge demand for adequate housing. Andrew is currently working on their website and I’m working on a Christmas fundraising proposal for US churches and organizations so they are able to help HFH El Salvador even from the states. It is the first year they are trying this so I hope we can make it happen. Tomorrow (Saturday, October 31) we are going to a build site to aid the HFH staff with translating, building, and making people feel welcome.

As for Thunderbird, we just finished our first accounting class last Sunday and I’m relieved to be done. Andrew and I both did well on the final as well as overall. I hope that we can do the same in the next accounting course that begins Monday. I’m glad that we have the opportunity to go to this school together because I love it so far.

Some funny news is that we are borrowing a car from a friend of Andrew’s grandmother that is quite funny. We named it Rocinante after Don Quixote’s barn horse that’s slow and worn out but faithful. It gets us where we need to go and that’s all that matters. The owner of the car jokes that she had a sign in the car that said something to the affect of -steal the car because I get more money from my insurance than what this car is worth. Needless to say the sign was stolen but not the car! We’ll be sure to add a picture later.

We haven’t taken a lot of pictures but below are some that Andrew took in his Grandmother’s back yard and some of an orchid exhibit of El Salvador’s native orchids. Also, there are pictures of the what the homes look like at the HFH model community in San Sebastian and one of a bean field. This complex has 60 finished homes, a child care center and a community center. They are in the process of increasing its size by building, I believe 60 additional homes. 

We miss everyone and thank you for keeping us in your prayers!

Hello world!

September 17, 2009 by

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