I woke up at 5:30am to the sound of running water. I didn’t think anyone was showering or had started to fill the pilas yet so I went to investigate. When I left my room I realized the noise was coming from the bathroom. I flipped on the lights and realized there was water all over the floor. The sink faucet was on and it was overflowing. I had no clue as to how the faucet got turned on. I turned in off and went back to my bedroom. Then I realized that what probably happened was one of the youth from San Francisco tried turning on the water yesterday and when no water came out it didn’t get turned completely off. The water only runs here in Berlín every other day from around 6-9am. Homes in the cantons may or may not have running water so there’d be no way for them to know when there is running water here at the house.
In other exciting news Kimberly and I saw a lizard in the house last night. It scurried across the wall when we were talking by her bedroom. We decided to name her Izzy. I got a few pictures of her. The earthquake we had last night did not make the news. I checked out the USGS website but nothing was reported so the quake was pretty small. That’s probably for best.
Another major thing happened last night. Cecilia accidentally sliced off part of her finger with a machete. Alejandro came to the house last night to get some antibiotic cream for her finger. Thank God it wasn’t bad enough that she had to go to the doctor. When she showed up this morning at the house she showed us her finger. It looked pretty icky. But Cecilia is such a trooper and wouldn’t even let her injury slow her down. When I went in to see her she was ironing some clothes. She did some sewing today and then cooked lunch and dinner for us. When she showed me her finger she told me, “No sangre porque soy una fantasma” (No blood because I’m a ghost). Yup. That sounds like Cecilia. I’m relieved she’s doing well. We were really afraid last night when we didn’t know how bad it was.
Kathy and I headed off to church this morning around 8:45am. We had our songbooks because we thought it was Alejandría’s turn to sing but it wasn’t. So we sat with everyone else. During the service I noticed a mom holding her young son. I leaned over and asked Kathy if she breastfeeding. Kathy said she was. I said, “That’s so…cool.” I love that it is completely acceptable to breastfeed in public, in church, and no one gives it a second thought. This is what mothers do. This is why women have breasts. It is amazing to me that many people in the US have turned something incredibly natural and loving into something dirty and private. Now, it isn’t illegal to breastfeed in public or in church in the US, but I think it would be considered “socially unacceptable” to breastfeed in church, and I see few people breastfeeding in public. To back up those statements: “Iowa Code § 135.30A (2002) a woman may breastfeed the woman's own child in any public place where the woman's presence is otherwise authorized.” It’s kind of sad that we actually have a law in place to allow women to do what women having been doing since the dawn of time.
Being at church today got me thinking about how much I am will miss going to the church here when I leave. I love the music, the people, the priests, taking communion, the atmosphere, everything. I am really beginning to know the songs, sayings, and rhythm of the services. Not being Catholic, I never thought I’d be saying that about a Catholic church but I love it. I feel deeply moved when I am there. God is very present. During the silent prayer I often find myself crying. I’m not sure why. My eyes just fill with tears. I don’t feel extremely happy or sad, just peaceful, like I could sit and pray for hours. It is absolutely wonderful.
When church is over Kathy and I always visit the market. Sundays are big market days with lots of people and vendors. We walked around today for almost an hour. We saw many people we knew which I love. It is great running into people on the street, getting hugs, and catching up. Smiling faces and pleasant conversation are always plentiful. Kathy got some apples and candy and I bought some beans today to take back to the US. They will be delicious!
We got back to the house around 11:00am. Niwman from the youth group in San Francisco stopped by around 11:30am today to deliver a letter I’m taking back with me. I invited him in to look at pictures from my time in San Francisco, our walk to the cross, and our trip to Alegría. We looked at pictures and talked for over two hours. We talked about the youth group, my time in El Salvador, the United States, traveling, family, and the difficulties of learning English and Spanish. I love that I’m able to have meaningful conversations with people in Spanish. Being able to talk to people in their language makes my time here even more enjoyable. Everyone is very patient with me when I don’t understand something. They try to explain it to me and speak slower so I can understand. Muy amable!
After Niwman took off around 1:40pm I had some lunch and did a bit of laundry. I also got a little bit of lesson planning done. At one point during the afternoon when I was talking to Cecilia she told me today that when I come back I need to stay longer. “Un año” (one year) she told me. I wish! We’ll have to see what the future holds. I’m glad she wants me to come back. The other day Blanca asked me when I’d be returning. I said I didn’t know because there are going to be some changes in the policies for visitors coming here. She told me it wasn’t a problem for me to come and that I was welcome anytime. It feels so good to know the women enjoy me as much as I enjoy them. It will be so hard to leave them in a few days. They have become family.
Around 4:00pm Kimberly and I went to the market to check out a new store that opened for the festival this week. I also saw some henna tattoos earlier in the day and wanted to get one. Kimberly looked at some jewelry while I picked out a tattoo. I decided on a sun with a lizard in the middle. It’s in honor of the lizard we saw last night that we named Izzy. While I got the tattoo Kimberly went inside to look around. I was chatting with the guy doing the henna and learned that he’d lived in the US and could speak some English. As we were chatting he asked me three questions in Spanish: How long are you here in El Salvador? Do you like to dance? Do you have a boyfriend? He seemed disappointed to learn I was married but I had to give him credit for working up the courage to ask. When I told Kathy about it later she suggested I could have responded, “No” to the last question (technically correct) just to see what the next question would be. I can probably guess, and the answer would be “No”.
When my tattoo was finished Kimberly and I decided to return to the house to get a little more cash (we never carry a lot of money for safety reasons). As we were rounding the corner to the house a small motor taxi flew toward us. I quickly moved out of the way but Kimberly just stood there like a deer in headlights. She didn’t get hit, and when she reached me we both burst out laughing. She said she was afraid the motor taxi was going to hit me and she couldn’t decide whether to push me out of the way or run in the other direction. In the end she didn’t move. However, she hasn’t been feeling well so her reaction time was a bit delayed (I was specifically told to include that part in my blog).
We spent quite a bit of time laughing about what happened at the house. It was like we’d inhaled laughing gas because we couldn’t stop. Every word that came out of our mouths made us giggle like crazy. I think it’s good to laugh uncontrollably every once and a while. It makes life more enjoyable.
We saw Izzy again tonight. She was in the same place she was last night. Then we saw another lizard on the ceiling. We decided to name her too. I asked Kimberly what we should call her. “Ozzy” she said. We both started laughing and I told her no. We decided on Harriet. Izzy and Harriet. Two lovely lizard friends.
This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! ~Psalm 118:24
My henna tattoo
I love it!