May 09, 2007

First week in El Salvador

Hello. This will be a short post on my first week in El Salvador, as I will have to go to class in a moment. I arrived safely, and am now living with a woman and her 15 year old granddaughter in a small apartment in the Mejicanos neighborhood of San Salvador, which borders on the University of El Salvador. The neighborhood is very working class, and looks rougher than it is, I believe. I take a bus for about 15 minutes each morning to the language school, which is located on the other side of the University.

Mrs. Deras, my host, speaks no English. The apartment is very small, not air conditioned. They have given me one room while she and Galia sleep in another. She is a very good cook, and though the meals are small, they are laden with fruits, beans, rice, and even vegetables which she disinfects for me. I am filled each time I eat.

Things are inexpensive here. I can get a meal for $2.50 which would cost me at least $7.00 in the US.

Crime is always a worry. There are gangs roaming around, and they have been known to get on buses and rob people. I was told that they do not want to hurt or kill anyone, they just want money or something they can sell. That is good news -- I always carry $15-$20 to give in case that happens. It probably will not, but it is better to stay safe.

I am gaining a little facility in the language. I understand more than I can speak. It is difficult and frustrating to keep having to look up things in the dictionary. But, hopefully after the 3rd or 4th time, it sinks in.

We visited the University of Central America yesterday, where the six Jesuits, their housekeeper and her daughter will killed by the army during the final offensive of the civil war in 1989. It was very sobering and at times gruesome --they have kept all the photos of the aftermath. The university is quite beautiful, however.

Today we are visiting the Anthropological Museum, and then there is a symphony performance for a small donation tonight at the Presidential Theater.

I will write more in a while.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

wellcome to el salvador

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Jose said...

I hope you enjoy as much as you learn English.

Try to visit many places. Apaneca and Suchitoto are beatiful places. There are many "buses alegres" who can make you travel around.

Be careful, listen to the lady who lives around you.

Go the beach and make your as happy as can be.

Probably you will find a lot of poor people, and fancy malls, but perhaps is the price that we have to understand life in other levels in other countries. We did not choose to live at this time. We have to say thak you to our parentes which make that possible.

So, do your best, learn all y remember there are good and bad people everywhere.

I wish you much luck.

behave

I am a salvadorean who where born there. I left 26 years ago at the age of 2. I'm been there many times and i have realy enjoyed/

2:57 PM  
Blogger Mary B. said...

It sounds like you are having a very enriching experience. Cool.

7:09 AM  
Blogger baldpreacher said...

Michael,

Great post on your initial experiences in San Salvador. I spent 10 days there last summer, well 5 there and 5 in Sonsonate. I had a powerful experience visiting the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection where the Bishop Gomez of the Lutheran Church in El Salvador is pastor. It sounds like you are doing some work on your dissertation related to politics in Central America. His experience through the Civil War and now might prove interesting to you.

7:54 AM  

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