I haven't written an update in quite a while because I've been fairly busy and having lots of fun. Since my last update, I've worked on the caseta quite a bit, swapped housemates, explored the region a little, and was graced with a visit from Elizabeth. Here is a link to my El Salvador Photo Collection. Photos from this post are in the 3rd album.
|Getting started on the walls|
The next day I tried to go back up to lay some block, the the gods of rain denied my passage. Halfway up, I took refuge in a friend's house, waiting hours for the downpour to stop. It was too late once it did, but I was happy because it meant I could go home and get ready to leave for Guatemala the following morning.
|La Catedral in Antigua, Guatemala|
|El Arco de Antigua|
|Wandering around Antigua|
|Magma flow in the rain|
In the morning I headed to Guatemala City to pick up Elizabeth from the airport. Smooth as a baby's bottom. The pickup and return, that is. We wandered around Antigua for a few days, surrendering to Central America's Downtown Disney as we called it. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful city with lots to do, just a bit too much for me at that time. That didn't stop us from eating some great meals and taking advantage of some nightlife finally. We also took a rainy trip up to Volcan Pacaya, Central America's most active volcano. There was lava! I had gone up the volcano in 2006 with Pete aka Nacho and CJ, but this time was completely different. It had erupted in May this year, showering one full meter of new volcanic rock onto the landscape. The once densely forested area now only presented a few remaining trees, all of which were shaved bare by the rocky rain. Mmmm, that reminds me of rocky road ice cream. So, it was absolutely nothing like my first trip up there even though it was only four years later.
Back in Juayua, we were welcomed with tummy aches and rain. Lots of both. While my stomach of steel was fine, but Elizabeth insisted on eating some raw lettuce mix on top of her pupusas (cause its really good) and got the ol' Revancha de los Almohades, as Chris coined so poetically years ago. It also rained like crazy for four days straight. We weren't really able to do anything around Juayua because of it. One day, I couldn't even walk the 2 blocks to the supermarket due to the class V rapids flowing down my street! I twice attempted to go to the laguna to see the progress made during my time off. I made it once, taking a few pictures, but it had been going slow due to the rain. Jikke and I each fell on our asses scrambling down the volcano to learn that we just missed the bus on the way home. I think she was annoyed with me a little for this wet adventure, so I yelled and ran after a truck heading downhill. We saved ourselves from 7 rainy kilometers on foot with a cramped ride in the back of a toyota. The other passengers were a soccer team doing some altitude practice, and their main concern was Jikke's marital status.
|Elizabeth and I in the rain|
Since Elizabeth left, it has not rained a drop. I bet the guy who owns the town dryer is bummed about all this sun we've been having. I, however, am not. I like the sun. I also like going swimming. I also like it when my clothes dry. Since there are no more clouds, I see multiple volcanoes every day. I also witnessed a man wearing a backpack containing a live and curious rooster walk past a wheelbarrow full of eggs for sale. Not something I've ever seen before. If only the bus wasn't driving 100 mph, I would have taken a photo.
|Cockroach found in my boot|
|Working on the form for the roof|
|Pouring the roof on the new caseta|
Once ready, we'll put the old diesel motor and pump back in as a backup. The new pump will be installed in about a week and a half. By that time, the power should be on as well, and our project should be complete in about 2 weeks. One of my remaining tasks is to write up an operations manual for the community, in case someone new comes to work on the pumps, they'll have proper documentation.
|Beautiful day at Laguna Verde|
During this week off, I've been visiting the nearby waterfall a lot, its been really refreshing with the heat and sun. I sunburned myself yesterday, so I'm taking an "inside day" to write this and load pictures. Jikke and I have been cooking a lot, too. We made mediocre mushroom sauce. My typical breakfasts are a smoothie consisting of three oranges, three bananas, half of a papaya, and honey. I usually eat one coconut per day. Its a fruit-filled life here. At least in the morning. Afternoon and evening is more of a starchy life.
Loose horses at the supermarket? Last night, as we were walking to the store, and I thought I heard one of the town drunks rustling in the darkness under a tree. I was surprised to find a huge horse instead. Then another across the street! I was surrounded! They were still there, half a block from the supermarket at 8pm, completely unattended. Jikke and I considered borrowing them. In the end, I declined because El Salvadoran jail sounds bad, and my last bareback horse experience left me with a bloody head.
Today is Saturday, meaning local food fair here in Juayua. It happens every weekend here. There is bad marching band music in the distance. I think today is some special day, supposedly there will be a dance this afternoon. So excited! I shall go seek out said dance and cooked rabbits.
|View on my way to work|