29 August 2011

El Salvador 2011 - Day 3

It had quit raining by bedtime last night and warmed up a bit so I didn’t need an extra blanket. I slept reasonably well, although my neck is still bothering me.

I “read” yesterday’s paper while waiting for breakfast to be ready. There was an article about a puppy in Brazil that was born green…they’re calling it The Hulk. There was a big article about the US presidential elections, the Tea Party and how religion is playing big role.

Breakfast was fried eggs, beans, bread, fried tamales and fried plantains.

Blanca and Balmore arrived after breakfast with flowers…mariposas and red roses.

We started the meeting with the Pastoral Team around 8:15, took a few breaks and finished around 12:15. Lunch was steak, salad, tortillas, and fresca (drink made from one or more fruits).

Around 1:30, Cecilia, Kathy, Blanca and Nancy left to deliver beans to El Corazol. Alisha and I left with Miguel to walk to San Francisco. We took the walking shortcut…which I had never seen because I’d only been there by truck. It took about 40 minutes to walk up the mountain.

While there, we looked at the wall around the church and talked about what is needed yet to avoid erosion and protect the structure. We also talked about the solar panel on the church. Currently, it’s not working because it needs new storage batteries. It’s not critical since the church has been tapped into the power that came to the community. The Directiva needs to decide what to do about it…to decide if it should be moved to another location, new batteries purchased, etc. Miguel isn’t on the Directiva so that’s  decision for someone else.

We walked to a couple of homes getting water tanks from FONEA (an NGO). The FONEAS project includes a water filter that is basically a terra cotta liner in a 5 gallon bucket. The principal is similar to the slow sand filters we installed in most homes. Miguel says that the rain water here has a sour taste that the FONEAS filter doesn’t remove but the sand filters do. He prefers the sand filters.

We also walked to “The River” where people from San Francisco can get water. I put the name in quotes because that’s what they call it but that’s not what it is. It’s basically a place where water seeps out of a rock face. They’ve built a pila to collect the water and put in some plastic shelves to collect and funnel more water. There was about 2 meters of water in the pila…probably room for another couple meters, if that much water is available.

Kathy, et al, were going to pick us up in San Francisco on their way back to the Casa from Corazol. However, we couldn’t get a signal on Alisha’s cell phone so we didn’t know when they would be going through. We started trudging back up from The River thinking that if Kathy came through, we’d just hop on. We’d only gotten about halfway up the mountain when she did pick us up so she saved us a big walk up.

Back at Casa, I took a dump-shower (no water running in the house today so showering is taking water in a container and pouring it over your head) and put on clean clothes. I bought 2 cans of pop at the store across the street. Alisha and Nancy went to get beer. I started the other mitten.

Alisha and Cecilia went to get tacos for supper. We chatted, knitted, and computered the evening away.