03 September 2011

El Salvador 2011 - Day 8

Slept, but overly well last night. However, there was running water today so I could have  real shower.

After that, I tore apart my bed on the off chance that the earring I lost was in there somewhere. I also moved the bed away from the wall so I could check under/around it. No good. I suspect it's out in the cantones somewhere.

I did some organization and pre-packing to get ready for the trip home tomorrow then went to breakfast.

Alisha and I were supposed to leave at 8:00 with some kids from the cantones but she'd been up all night with the after effects of something that did NOT agree with her. She wanted to wait to make sure the medication she took for it took hold before we hit the trail. New departure scheduled for 9:00.

By 9, she was looking much better and said she felt up to the trip so we gathered up the young'uns: Mauricio (Cecilia's brother), Elmer (Cecilia's son), Giani, Patricia and Yaniera... and headed out. We met Numan a couple blocks from the Casa and he joined our band.

We got out of town and started up the mountain when Alisha said she couldn't go on. She felt really ill. She wa going to turn back and Numan was going with her. The rest of us continued on.

The girls had never been to the Cross before...a couple of the boys had. I heard Numan discussing which way to go. He wanted to take the direct way (straight up the mountain) but Mauricio said we were going to take the longer way, via switchbacks.

It took about an hour and 20 minutes to get there. We didn't walk very fast. The view from the top was incredible! You could see the whole town of Berlin. I could pick out the church, the high school, the covered market, the soccer field. It was clear, there was just a bit of a haze of moisture in the air but everything was there. There was also a cloud rolling in from our right, between us and town. It was cool to watch it creeping along on its little cat-feet.

We admired the view for a bit then headed back down. We went down the direct way. It was really steep. Giani and Elmer zipped ahead. Mauricio hung back with us girls. I told Mauricio that the other boys were like deer...I was like an elephant. Another small joke I could make in Spanish...

We got back to the Casa around 12:15 and I went in search of Diet Coke. Tienda Rossy was closed so I went to Tienda la Nina Mercedes (where I got 3 yesterday) but they didn't have any. I got a Gatorade instead. The woman tending the store asked me how long I would be in town. I knew she was asking because if I were going to be in town for a while, she'd get some Diet Coke for me. However, I told her today was my last day.

We had lunch...a burger thing, some macaroni salad and veggies.

We had the follow up meeting with the Team from 1:10 until 4:00.

We were scheduled to go to Alegria for supper later but Blanca suggested we go earlier to look around town a little. I was all for that so we might get back a little earlier for packing and picture files exchange.

As it turned out, it was starting to rain as we were leaving the Casa. Alisha, Cecilia and I were in the back of the pickup. We picked up a handful of people on the way and opened the tarp to cover them. It never rained hard on the way but when the truck is moving you run into a lot more of them.

When we got to Alegria, it was raining harder so we went straight to the restaurant instead of walking around. The food was good and we had music from a man, his 2 sons (17 and 13) and his nephew. The Team picked the songs from a song list he had printed. They were good! I liked the man's voice and when the 13-year-old sang, I couldn't believe the voice he had. They're a very musical family! I bought a CD from them for $5.

It rained pretty hard most of the time we were eating but by the time we were done, it had stopped. We walked around the town square a bit. They have a sort of mini festival on the streets around the square on Saturdays and Sundays. There were street vendors selling food, sweets, jewelry, etc. I bought some candy at the sweet vendor that was basically pure sugar with a little caramel flavor. I looked for earrings so my one ear wouldn't have to go home naked but didn't find anything. Pretty much everything was either huge or heavy on the bling. And I'm just not a bling kind of gal.

Back at the Casa, we did a chip swap to exchange all the pictures we all took. I also got all the recordings of the meetings from Alisha. Kathy printed my boarding passes for tomorrow. Although, since I have to show a passport, I still have to stop at the desk. I don't have bags to check, though. And we don't have to get up in the wee hours to get to the airport. It will still be a long day tomorrow.