02 September 2011

El Salvador 2011 - Day 7

Breakfast was fried eggs,, beans, cheese sandwiches and fresh bread. I made a sandwich of the bread, egg and beans.
We were supposed to leave for a bean delivery at 8. By 9:25 the truck still wasn’t here. A little before 10, the Team decided not to wait any more. We loaded up the pickup with the beans for the second community we were planning to deliver to this morning and headed out.

We had to drive through the AWOL truck community (San Felipe Arriba) on the way to the second community (La Llanes) and talked to some people in San Felipe about where the truck was. There was some sort of miscommunication but the guy we talked to was going to get the truck lined up and hopefully have it there by the time we came back from La Llanes.

La Llanes is in the back of beyond… Much of the road there is a narrow dirt track but the view is incredible. We could see the San Vincente volcano, the valley below and far off in the distance, the ocean.

We got to the community center, unloaded the truck, and waited. And waited. Eventually, we were all invited up to one of the houses we’d passed on the way into town and plied with elote, atol, riguas (a corn pancake made of pureed corn, salt and oil; cooked in banana leaves on a comal) and tamales that kept arriving in tubs plus one very large mango a little girl brought us. It was our very own corn festival.

All the food came from people who’d received corn and fertilizer in the spring and wanted to say thank you. We had to eat some of everything in order to not be rude but we’d need a whole village to eat it all. Most of it came back to the Casa with us.

Random things from La Llanes…

Driving into town, a woman was bathing in the street in front of her home. She was topless with something draped around her hips and pouring water over herself. This is not unusual. These people live in dirt floor homes so pouring water inside the house would just make mud. And no one has a separate, private place for bathing. You bathe where the water is. No one thinks anything of it.

The guy at the all-community meeting yesterday who was wearing the Norwalk shirt is here.

While we were waiting near the truck, two boys were playing with a classic toy. One of them had the wooden version of a small, short stick tied by a string to a wooden, sort of ball-shaped piece with a hole in it. The idea is to hold the toy in one hand, toss the ball-shaped piece in the air and catch it by the hole with the little stick. The other boy had the same sort of toy, only instead of the wooden ball-shaped piece, he had the top of a plastic drink bottle.

The boy with the wooden toy was José Carlos (12) and the one with the plastic version was Oscar Antonio (11).

Somewhere along the way I realized I’d lost an earring…I have no idea when or where. It might be in the bedding I’ve been using, it might be in the bed of the pickup, it might be (probably is) lost for good.

After La Llanes, we went back through San Felipe and the truck was there. We gave the Directiva president the census list and they were going to take care of having people sign for their seed and return the list to the Team on Sunday.

After the corn festival at La Llanes, no  one really wanted lunch so we chilled for a while and then headed out for the  final bean delivery of the day, to Alejandría.

I rode in the back of the pickup with Alisha and Cecilia and Negrita (the chicken that had been living in the back yard since the all-community meeting). I would never say it to her face, but Negrita is a very ugly chicken. Her feathers are a nice, glossy black but her neck is featherless and red. She looks like a vulture. I’d seen a lot of neck-featherless chickens and asked Alisha about it. She said it’s just the breed…it has nothing to do with pecking order.

Back at the Casa, we chilled and caught up with journaling and emails. Supper was spaghetti with hot dog slices in it and a side of beans.

Kathy, Nancy and I played Yahtzee for a while. Nancy smoked us with all her bonus Yahtzees. She is the Yahtzee queen!