August 07, 2010

El Salvador Album

~Mr. and Mrs. Santos~

This was the biggest adventure of my life so far. I think there are two things that Adventures can do for you. First, they develop character and secondly, they TEST you for any character.
So. Did I pass the Character Test? All I can say is that the Grace of God is Big and Overflowing. When things were too difficult for me, He was there to help. I didn't go through anything without his loving kindness sustaining me.

There was no need to complain, no need to worry and no need to despair of anything.



This is a picture of me resting as we went down the mountain. Mr. Santos said it was just a short trail to his mother's home ~ about 4 miles. *smiles* and only 94 degrees Fahrenheit with intense humidity. It was like being in a green house. My Slogger hat was a life saver when the sun was blaring down on me like a torch. Also, my Columbia Surf Tide sandals (another $3 thrift store buy) helped me in hiking across the mountain and dried quickly after we crossed any rivers.


My handsome man with his rugged and beautiful homeland in the background. Mr. Santos carries such heavy loads on those broad shoulders. It is a privilege and my highest hope that I could be a help to him.
I'm so happy to have experienced my biggest adventure at his side.

~Family~

Two of my nieces overwhelmed with affectionate Tia Laura.


My beautiful Suegra, Mama Tina with the chocolate cake I made her. It took eight hours to bake! They cook in clay ovens with wood. I learned leaping flames does not necessarily mean the oven is hot. We ate the cake immediately ~ before it melted away ~ and the children licked their plates.



My sweet niece, Teresa, and Mama Tina


These ladies, mi cunada and her daughters tried to take a picture without smiling...Not with Tia Laura behind the camera!



Mr. Santos leaving for the day to tend to the land and the animals.

Mr. Santos marched in one afternoon with his machete strapped to his belt and a heavy bundle of vines on his shoulder. He dropped them on the kitchen floor and mi suegra y yo went to work right away to prepare dinner.

~ Great Views~




I forget the name of this volcano...but it was near the airport and always in view.

"Sensuntepeque"





The road down to Azacualpa - you can see it was a bumpy ride...QUITE a bumpy ride.


The views made it all worth it.


Seemed there was always a river to cross eventually. We were in El Salvador during the rainy season. This means every night there is una tormenta. The dark sky lights up with lightening and then BOOMS with thunder. The rain comes down in torrents. Under a tin roof it is impossible to hear anything other than the rain. You just sit around looking at one another or watching the rain because the sound of the storm drowns out all potential conversation.


My Teresa with her umbrella to guard her from el sol. Below those trees is where we stayed most nights...with the sound of the passing river and the stifling green house air. Though it was very difficult to climb the mountain, at least there was a breeze at the top of it.


The mountain in the background is Honduras.


~Some of the Locals~

There is at least one of these little pericos in every home we visited. They talk and squawk and are very friendly. When Mr. Santos and I were first married, he brought two of them home. I never enjoyed them because we lived in a tiny apartment and they were so LOUD. I didn't know that they were such a huge part of his culture...what reminded him of his homeland. I wish I could take back all my complaints of those little birds. "This one" and "That one" (their names) eventually went to live in a beautiful Aviary with many other tropical birds.

I eventually told her to "go get her own nest."

Can't be out in El Campo without a few dogs.

This black and white pig was cute at first, until he started CHASING me down the mountain. I was terrified! My little companion (12 year old Teresa) laughed her head off when I suddenly screamed, threw all my stuff in the air and ran like mad. She casually picked up a stick and SSSHHDD it away. We took a break from our walk so that she could take time to slap her knees a few times as she tried to stop giggling at her crazy Tia Laura.

Kitchen friends.



This is the oven I made a chocolate cake in and the guest that sleeps in it every night.

10 comments:

  1. I think you are brave Laura, and you seem to have adventures often in life. Scotland by yourself, Alaska, and now El Salvador. The views were beautiful. I loved looking at all of the pictures - the land looks so lush and green and pretty - and I am thankful to look at the beauty without having to deal with the heat and humidity to see it. Thank you for sharing.

    The picture of you in the blue skirt resting on the mountain and wearing your hat is my favorite one. I think Luis's mom looks beautiful. I loved your pig story - that was hilarious. I think I would have had a problem with baking in an oven like that. I mean, seriously - do you know how many problems I have cooking an edible meal with an actual stove and oven, what in the world would I do if I lived where there were no microwaves? Hopefully I will never find out.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing your trip. I'm glad you're home safe from your latest adventure. I love you.

    Lisa

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  2. I'm here shortly just to browse but, my, what a visit! I enjoyed all your pictures. Lovely post! Will come back again to read more. Blessings!

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  3. Amazing Laura. What a glorious adventure. The pix are awesome, thanks for sharing your adventure.

    Love ya girl,
    Kacee

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  4. Seems like you were in your element Laura. Proud of you. So happy for the pics and for your sharing. How you got to see your man in his hometown. I am sure he loved having you around!!! :). The lesson on "this one and that one"... I remember those birds and how much you hated them... Such a sweet post. Love you.

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  5. WOW!! What an awesome time you both must have had!!! It looks so pretty in the cool pictures you posted!

    Thank you for sharing about it! :)

    Love you,
    ~Tarra

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  6. Lisa~ Thank you for your comments. I am not brave, just blessed. The oven thing was hard. It took all day to prepare food and we ate simply. It is one way to stay thin!

    Ruth~ I've missed you. Your little posts have been very encouraging lately...I especially liked the one about the banner.

    Kacee~ It is so nice to have you comment. I think about you all the time. Hope you and your family are well and that you are coping with the loss of your father too...now that it has happened in our house I can relate (a little) bit more.

    Hi Cher~ I don't know if I was in my element. I was hot and tired most of the time...but I love people...I love THESE people and that is probably what you mean. I miss you too. You remember the birds? I wish we still had them now.

    J Bar, thanks and thanks for visiting the Santos Times. Nice to meet you.

    Tarra~It was beautiful there...especially the day I left the country to go back to the city. We rode mules up the mountain and the sun was rising with a mist...it was like paradise. Unfortunately, I didn't get any photos. God willing, I will never forget it though.

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  7. Good dispatch and this post helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

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  8. This is my favorite post of yours. I climbed a mountain in Honduras from which I could see El Salvador. Maybe we were seeing one another's mountains. Isn't it amazing the walks people make every day. I was just remembering how the kids in their cheap flip flops pushed me up the mountain. Who knew a hand on your back could make such a huge difference!

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  9. Hi Misty~ EXACTLY! I thought the same thing about the kids walking up the mountain pushing me on...in flip flops or barefoot.

    Hope you have a good day.

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