11 May 2002

Arrival in El Salvador

It was raining fairly heavily as I arrived at the airport. The unstable weather made for an extremely rough flight to St Louis…pretty close to the roughest I’ve ever been on. St Louis to Miami was much better and Miami to San Sal was perfectly smooth.

Arrival at San Sal was pretty uneventful. There was a slight altercation with immigration. Lynn and Jane were charged $10 for the tourist card and Julie and I weren’t. Lynn was questioning why they had to pay and we didn’t. But none of the officials there spoke English and my Spanish wasn’t up to dealing with it. Eventually they had about 5 immigration officers there, all of them speaking Spanish and us not. Eventually we gave up and just wrote off her $10.

Met Bob and Giovani outside the airport. We drove to the International Hotel and checked in. We settled in for a bit then walked to La Ventana for supper…a place Bob described as a “yuppie place” but it fit the bill as it had a variety of food options and wasn’t expensive.

The music was too loud (typical of the culture) and the place had a LOT of art work on the wall. Most of the ones in the room where we were eating were huge paintings by the same person who did the ones we saw at the Jesuit college chapel the last time we were here. I thought they were an odd choice for both locations. They were mostly stark, sketched images of nude, dead bodies riddled with bullet holes…men and women piled haphazardly, sometimes bound hand and foot with barbed wire. Images to dine and pray by… But I guess it shows how deeply the war colors their world still.

We walked back to the hotel and called it a night.