I’ve been in El Salvador now for 6 months. Well, per the regulations of the Salvadoran government and my visa I have to leave the country for a few days. I was here for 90 days then applied and was accepted for a 90-day extension. That ends August 7th which means that I have to leave the county for three days before I’m allowed to return. Sure I’d love to go to nearby Guatemala, Nicaragua, or Honduras, but since El Salvador is a part of the CA-4 agreement I have to a different country. (More about the CA-4 agreement: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America-4_Border_Control_Agreement)
Since I have to leave the country I thought I’d bop on up to the US for a week to visit family. The following are a couple thoughts about my time in El Salvador in comparison to my life in the US. In the past 6 months…
• I’ve spoken Spanish every day
• I have eaten beans and tortillas every day
• I really haven’t worn a seat belt that often
• I haven’t drank any milk
• I haven’t had a glass of 100% orange juice
• I haven’t driven a car
• I haven’t thrown toilet paper into the toilet
• I haven’t used a credit/debit card
• I haven’t used a washer or dryer
• I haven’t been in many places where there is air conditioning
I don’t view any of these things as negative. Actually, the daily beans and tortillas are definitely positive things as is the fact that I get to speak Spanish every day with native speakers. This list is merely a list of thoughts mostly regarding things that I have easy access to or do in the US that I don’t have easy access to or do here in El Salvador. I feel that I’m going to be very spoiled when I return to the US.
I will have access to a washer and dryer; that’s quick and easy cleaning. I not only have both a credit and debit card but I’ll actually be able to use them in the city where I live; that means I have money in the bank and live in a town where I have access to all the possible things I could need to buy. I will be sleeping with air-conditioning (heard it’s been really hot in Des Moines lately) and can afford to pay the AC bill. I will have a car to drive: one that I own because I can afford it. I’ll be safe in my car with my seat belt, because riding in the bed of a pickup is not legal in Des Moines. I’ll be able to nourish my body with milk and pure orange juice as well as a variety of other foods. And I’ll be able to throw the toilet paper into the toilet (if I can remember to do that).
It will be an interesting week. I’m going to try to rest and save my blogging reflections until next week when I return to El Salvador.