Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Adventures in El Salvador: Week 2

As I’m typing this, there is currently a green and orange lizard who has taken up residence behind our couch….  Normally, back home in the U.S. this would have sent me running and possibly screaming. Today I say “Get busy eating some spiders and mosquitoes, my friend. And please, pretty please do not choose my face to scurry across in the middle of the night.”

*Note to self:  wear yoga pants with the tight pant legs to bed from now on, unless you want a horrendous surprise in your personal bubble in the middle of the night.

We are learning many things other than to be thankful for lizards.

Monday and Tuesday we went car shopping and house searching.  I had lofty ideals of going to a used lot or 2, picking out a car, signing some papers and then happily continuing on to meet a realtor to look at some lovely homes.

This is not how it works. While the suburbs in the U.S. are brimming with mini-vans fit for a family of 6, not so much here. 5 seater cars seem to be the max.

Here is how Monday went. We had an awesome friend driving us all over, around and back again. It didn’t bode well when on our way TO the car shopping we got a flat tire.  Pastor Ivo, Evaristo (our driver) and Evelin (our ever patient friend and interpreter) got to accompany us on this super awesome day.

Ivo and Evaristo would pull into a car lot. We gringos would stay in the car. Ivo had a suspicion that if the lot owners saw our pasty white selves, the price would magically go up by hundreds of dollars.

He was right.

So he and Evaristo would search for something in our parameters, get a price quote and then come back to the big van we were in and tell us if there was something worth seeing.  Then we would hop out, go and look it over.

We found a great option, drove to two different mechanics, just to find out that the engine was bad. This lost us about 4 hours. This is with all of our kids in tow.

We felt TERRIBLE about wasting a whole entire day of our friends’ time. Terrible.  At least our company was good. We got home around 8 p.m., made our kids some sandwiches and went to bed.

Day 2: Feeling optimistic. New plan. Alex will go car shopping. Because I no longer care. Then they will come back, pick us up, to do the house hunting.

We get a phone call from a very excited Pastor Ivo about a fantastic opportunity. From his excitement and very rapid Spanish, I can make out multiple “huge opportunities” and “come to the church” “lot of clothes and shoes.”

So we pack up all the school books, snacks and water, get to the church and discover Ivo with 2 men from the Air Force. One pilot, one mechanic.

They are based nearby for 6 months and like to spend their off time making a difference in the community.  The long and short of it is this: They want to do food and clothing drives in the U.S. Ship it all over for free in their huge planes. For free. Free is very, very good. They also want to help out with work projects, help distribute the food and clothes, have barbeques. Be a part of this community. They have 6 month deployments, and then a new group comes in. But they do a hand off, introductions and continue the relationship.  This is hugely exciting for this city.  I’m really praying it works out.

LOVE IT!! Plus, we can help them, with lots of kids to play with and wonderful time spent with people in our community.

After we met with them, a car buying trip unlike any I’ve had before ensued. 

To be continued……

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