It has been a very hot minute since I last posted and if you’ve read through my last post you’ll know it is because I was on vacation!
I spent the last two weeks in El Salvador, which is where my family hails from before my parents immigrated to Canada. I haven’t been back to ES in about 6 years. The last time I went I stayed there for about 6 weeks so the 2 weeks that I spent there this year felt supremely short! Still I had a fabulous time there!
What can I say about going back?
It’s been a while. I forgot how mountainous the country is so getting from one place to another means going up and down a lot of hills and there are lots of curves in the roads. It is actually a very difficult place to drive in I would not want to get a license there. Car sickness there would not be fun.
But going back to my family’s town and seeing how its look hasn’t changed one bit was so nostalgic. I mean the house my family lives in has changed, but the streets are the same, the colours are the same if a little faded, the smells are the same and the people, the people. The people may be different, but the same too.
Now we have to talk about the sounds because Oh My Lord Jesus Christ. Everyone there is a morning person.
The roosters start cocking at 3:00 AM. The bread vendors are yelling on the streets at 4:00 AM. The vegetable vendors follow the bread vendors. Then come the ringing of the bells of the school calling all the students to class. The students themselves are noisy af. There are cars and car alarms going off every couple of minutes, motorcycles zipping by. It’s crazy.
NOT TO MENTION! When we first arrived the town was in the middle of a week long celebration of its Patron Saint (because the Catholics over there like to party) so at around 4:30 AM on the first two nights there were parades. Yes, parades. And fireworks. Lots and lots of fireworks. In the early, early morning.
But I cherished every sound however annoying it was. Even the kisses that the geckos on the walls of the house sent my way.
Now we must talk about the relentless heat. Geez, you guys it was HOT. Every single day. A suffocating heat alongside a killer sun that beat down. My Abuelita’s house doesn’t have AC so the fan was my best friend. There were days I could stand it, when I ate lots of cold treats (my Abuelita has a famous Popsicle recipe) and remembered to drink water. But there were other days when I got desperate and might have thrown a tantrum about the heat. Maybe. But after six months of cold weather the heat was a welcome change.
I won’t say much about the mosquitoes other than that they ate me alive. I applied as much repellent as I could but they still found spots of get at me.
We celebrated my Abuelita’s birthday and had a huge family reunion since most of the family was visiting! It was so much fun and all my cousins are crazy so you know we had a party! Then later in the week we celebrated my birthday which was fun, they even had a piñata at my party!
I did lots of touristy things while I was there. We visited the local water attractions. We went to this cool maze that was actually pretty tricky to navigate. We even had the privilege to go to a resort there. But mostly I spent time with my family. Uncles, aunts and cousins who have grown so much! I adore them, they know I do. I’m lucky my parents basically grew up across the street from each other so seeing both sides of the family was easy!
The Question You Might Have…
Now I know some of you may be thinking about the whole situation of El Salvador. Lots of you have probably heard of the refugees fleeing to the US, being detained and put in cages. And you’ve heard about the violence and poverty that has overrun the country. And it’s all true. I’m lucky that I can still visit. I’m lucky that the town where my family lives is still far enough from the gang violence. But it’s still risky, it always is. The gangs might not be as visible, but they are there. There is an unspoken curfew in the town, but by 9 PM the streets are empty, not a soul in sight. There are streets you can’t walk alone, if you have a purse you have to watch it and hold on tight. There is immense poverty. My family gets by but that doesn’t mean its easy for them all especially with my grandma’s health. They only get running water every other day, sometimes they have to wait longer. The water isn’t even drinkable. It’s not pure and really can only be used for showering and washing. Most people have to buy clean water. It’s a hard life and I only lived two weeks of it. Can you possibly imagine how hard it could be for someone poorer, being extorted that has their whole life there?
What Reading I got Done?
None. Literally read 6 chapters of Sky in the Deep. I just didn’t have the time to sit down reading while I was there. My time was short and I had to spend as much as I could living in the real world.
Before I left I meant to do a lot of blogging but that didn’t happen either so I have a lot of catching up to do believe me.
Let me know what you think! What have you been up to so far? What books have you read? Where have you travelled?