Monday, July 27, 2009

My First Taste

*Sigh* If only there were more time in one day. I think my facebook friends all know where I went and what we did by now, but that isn't the same as blogging it. And now it's already been a week since I arrived back home. But, even though it may bore you, I shall dig deep and retell our adventure.

July 12th- Adam and I woke early in the morning. I had packed my bags the day before and our group was meeting at the airport at 4:30 am. We kissed good-bye and I joined the seven other team members at the check-in counter. Our plane headed to Georgia, where we caught our connecting flight and also met the last member of our team, who joined us from San Diego. Our group of nine were headed far from home, somewhere I had never been, somewhere I was excited to be.

El Salvador: the smallest country in Central America, home of the second largest city in Central America. Beautiful mountains, beautiful lakes and beautiful people. As we walked through the airport doors into the open air, the heat and humidity hit you simultaneously, along with the smell of people. The mob of anxiously waiting faces looking for their family or friends. My first real taste of El Salvador. The smile broke across my face. This was going to be an adventure.

We were headed to San Martin, home base for our ten-day stay. There was an orphanage there, which currently houses 21 young boys, from age 14 down to 1 1/2. They are taught the love of Jesus there and get to be friends with many different mission teams that come throughout the year. And though we spent a lot of time there, we were not there only to minister to them. But I am getting ahead of myself...

I'll start with what stuck out to me first. Our drive from the airport to San Martin took two hours and went right through San Salvador. Traffic was... amazing. Everyone drives fast and close to other vehicles. I think they purposely try to make foreigners afraid to drive by themselves. That way, they have to hire a bus service. (wink-wink) One out of every three vehicles is a bus. They are loud, colorful, and packed to capacity. A pick-up truck doubles as a taxi. People load into the backs of those trucks, legs, arms, and rear-ends hanging out everywhere. Booths or stalls are set up right on the side of the road, so vendors can hawk their produce to anyone who drives by. They would have their hammocks strung up in there, so they can take a siesta while they wait for their next customer. The most striking thing we saw though had to be the slums. We drove by several on our way through. There were 3-5 acre lots filled with little shacks. The walls of these homes were primarily made of black plastic sheeting, held up with sticks. They make have a piece of scrap metal for a roof. But there were hundreds. Maybe thousands. Packed tightly together literally like sardines in a can. No sanitation, no privacy. Just survival. My first real glimpse of poverty. Welcome to El Salvador.

Cross your fingers. Maybe I'll write more tomorrow.


Martha said...

I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
I think one day you'll be glad you wrote this down to help you remember.

judi said...

my fingers are to busy to cross, I'll just mutter my hope.

Jessica Morris said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean about the driving!! Argentina was like that too! As was Nigeria... lol.
I had never thought about it being because they want you to take public transport ;)