Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Beach Day at El Espino

Tuesday, 2-15-11

We had to say goodbye to the Trinity delegation this morning. Shortly after breakfast we went outside in front of the Pastoral House to take some group photos. We took four group shots and then went next door to the Ferretería (hardware store) to get a picture. It’s pretty silly but all had so much fun making up ways to serve ferret. Alfredo packed up all the suitcases into the microbus and the group was once again herded to the car. Hugs and goodbyes were in order for all. We waved goodbye to them and wished them luck on their trip home.

Trinity delegation

Trinity plus Kathy and me

The whole group

Photo with Alfredo, our awesome driver

Someone danced with Larry!

We went inside and Kathy told us that Blanca had something important she needed to tell us. Maurice, Betty, and I sat down to listen to what she had to say. “Vamos a la playa” she announced; We’re going to the beach. We had about 15 minutes to get ready and then we were leaving. I quickly changed into my swim clothes: yoga pants and a tank top. People in El Salvador do not wear bathing suits to the beach. I put on some sunscreen, grabbed my camera, purse, anti-itch cream, and a change of clothes. We took off at 9:15am.

It’s about a 2 hour drive to Playa Espino where we were going. Kathy drove with Betty, Aminta, and Idalia in the cab. Maurice, Blanca, Cecilia, and I stayed in the bed of the truck. I stood for a short period of time watching the scenery go by. But I began to fell drowsy so I sat down. The next thing I knew I had laid down in the back of the truck and fell asleep. I did not expect to fall asleep so getting in a nap was a pleasant surprise. I woke up once when we picked up a Salvadoran man and woman who were also heading to the Playa Espino area where they lived. I sat up so there’d be more room for everyone. I managed to fall asleep again and when I opened my eyes we were at the beach.

We rented a little area right next to the beach where we could park the truck, lay in hammocks, and order lunch. We piled out and someone came over to greet us. We put our order in for lunch and then I hit the beach. It was so nice to see the ocean again. The last time I was at the ocean was a year ago at the same beach. I waded in the water and looked for some shells. I have several shells that I brought home last year from the beach. My favorite shells from this beach are light pink. All the shells are pretty small but searching for different kinds of shells is what makes beachcombing fun.

Soon I’d found several shells as well as a dead crab. I went back over to the hammocks to show Kathy. A young girl was next to her selling seashell jewelry. Kathy quickly shushed me away. I later found out she was buying necklaces for everyone. Mine was pink with shells and little turtles on it. She joined us in the ocean and we looked for sand dollars. The tide was high so we didn’t find any but it was fun to run our fingers through the sand searching for them.

We walked in one direction on the beach for a while looking for shells and taking everything in. We were definitely relaxed. On our way back to the area where we’d set up I found a dead fish and a dead jellyfish. Not sure why I found so many dead things today. I tossed the fish back into the ocean deciding not to eat it. When we got back to the hammocks the same young girl had returned to try to sell us something else. We must all have big signs on our foreheads that read “Suckers” because we all ended up getting something. I bought a little turtle made out of shells.

Shortly thereafter our lunch arrived. I was the only one to order chicken; everyone else got fish. I’ve never been a huge fish fan so I opted for the chicken. This stems back to an incident when I was a kid. Long story short: I used to love fish and now I only eat it occasionally. The rice and tortillas that we ate with our lunch were delicious, but we couldn’t eat the salad that came with it because it wasn’t washed in “pure” water. Good thing Kathy asked before we ate it! Several dogs came by looking for food. I may or may not have thrown them a scrap or two. Dogs, chickens, and even cows are not usual to see on the beaches in El Salvador.

Another person came around as we were finished lunch selling necklaces and bracelets. I had no intention of getting anything but Betty offered to buy several items for everyone. I ended up with a beautiful bracelet made of shells of different colors. We spent quite a bit of time picking out what we liked. It took a while to count out how much each piece of jewelry cost but we got there eventually.

It was time to get back into the water after lunch. We searched for sand dollars but to no avail. So we rode the waves and lay in the water as the tide pulled us further out. At one point I raised my arms above my head and dove into an oncoming wave. When I surfaced I realized that I’d lost my sunglasses. Now, why I thought it’d be a good idea to go diving under the water with my sunglasses on top of my head is beyond me. I thought for sure I’d lost them but a minute later I felt them underneath the water. I declared that I was a genius, but Kathy told me I was just lucky. I suppose we’ll agree to disagree.

After a little more time playing in the water it was time to go. I rinsed off under the outdoor shower and changed into dry clothes. We hopped into the truck and were on our way back by 3pm. We gave a couple young girls a ride for a short ways but the rest of the time we had to truck to ourselves. I slept a little more in the back of truck and woke up when it got a little chilly out. No, it wasn’t actually cold, just cool. I put my sweatshirt on and huddled down next to Blanca and Idalia. We made it home a little after 5pm.

The rest of the evening was slow and leisurely. We worked on our blogs for a while, helped with some more decorations for the celebration on Thursday, and ate dinner. Tonight we had tacos, which were not exactly like the tacos you’d get in the states. The shell is in between a hard and soft shell. Inside were cut-up pieces of meat, onions, and tomatoes. It was tasty and really hit the spot. I ate three of them.

Barbara the duck accidentally fell down off the ledge tonight into a tub of water with clothes. I grabbed her and put her back up. I also moved all my things into the room where I’ll be staying the rest of the trip but haven’t organized anything yet which for me is almost unheard of. I guess traveling and being at the beach all day wears you out. Time to get some sleep!

First look at the beach

Taking in some sun

Collecting shells

Betty & Maurice wading in the water

Buying jewelry

The dead crab I found

Leisure time

Come on in! The water is nice!


The little crab we found

He held tight to Aminta's shoe

Releasing the crab

Looking west up the beach

Looking east up the beach

Our little area

We love the beach

Eating some chips

The deep blue sea

The ladies love the beach

Watching the waves roll in

Hammock anyone?

Pink shells

Puppy footprints


Sandy beaches

Rocks on the beach

Message to my husband

Looking for shells

Breathing in that sea air

Fishing boat

Lunch is served

The dogs really liked Kathy

Hello there

Buying jewelry

So much to choose from

The little ladder to get down to the beach

Nap time

Goodbye beach!

Idalia pretending to sleep

He stood the whole way back

Huddled together

Being silly


Larry G. Lepper said...

Oh WOW! How cool! Next time I am staying an extra day so I can go to the beach too! Sure miss you guys and treasure the many experiences we had. Why were there so many emails to be answered on my computer at work this morning? Great job on the blog Alisha.

Su amigo, Lorenzo

Linda OConnell said...

I am so jealous. I really wanted to stay too. Next time I come I want a day at the beach. I was supposed to do a wedding at 1:00 but the people called and said they were running late so I will wait for them to call when they are near the church. Such is the life of a rural pastor. Miss you bunches. Hugs and kisses to all.

Anonymous said...

Hi Alisha, I finally got caught up with your whole blog tonight. My goodness you have great adventures! I'm totally jealous that you were at the beach. It's great to see all your pictures. Helps us to feel a part of your experience. Glad to hear from Matt that your hip is doing better. Miss you. We will try to skype with you one of these evenings. Love, Martha

Anonymous said...

The beach looks amazing. I wish I was there. Thanks for your message in the sand.

Kevin Pokorny said...

How lovely - your message to Matthew! Great beach scenes and wish I was there.