Sunday, September 26, 2010

Late for Church

So I missed church this morning. Several folks had reminded throughout the week that I was welcome to join them at the Iglesia Reformada Juan Calvino, John Calvin Reformed Church service at 10am. As I was preparing to eat a quick breakfast and head down the block to the church I was informed that I was already late, and everyone knows,  lo que está hecho, hecho está, what's done is done and there is always next week. I didn't receive the message that service had been moved up to 9am to accomodate a baptism. I guess I haven't made it on the phone tree yet.

As the rain pourded down (as it did all last night, and is said to continue to do through Tuesday) rather than grab a quick bite, Carmencita prepared me some comfort food; beans, fried bananas, warm tortillas and strong coffee! While I can blame it on the rain (sorry for the Milli Vanilli reference, couldn't resist) or the schedule change, I think secretly the food is what kept me home this morning. I have a feeling it will become easier to get to church when I have to prepare my own meals.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

San Salvador, “Valley of Hammocks”

Upon my arrival in El Salvador, thankfully I was not greeted by any of the “constant trembling of the earth” that led the 16th century Spaniards to call this region valle de las hamacas, “valley of hammocks.” I was, however, met at the airport by a small delegation of Joining Hands Network members who graciously helped heave my luggage into the van, and through our conversation began to weave for me a very complex and exceedingly beautiful tapestry from the threads of Salvadoran politics, society and spirituality.

I settled in, quite comfortably you can see, at the guest house Popol Na (Casa del Pueblo), “the people’s house,” operated by the Calvinist Reformed Church in El Salvador. I must admit, it feels a bit like vacation at this point. I look out my window onto hammocks on a patio that extends into a garden complete with lime, orange and banana trees, eat papaya at every meal, take quick cold showers and have traded in perfume for eau de bug repellent.

We are in the height of the rainy season which certainly makes for exciting weather patterns. As I write, with the sliding doors wide open to the patio, a cool breeze is blowing and I can scarcely hear myself think over the thunder claps and the pouring rain. Though shortly the rain will let up and the sun will burst through the clouds, the garden will soak up all that it can and the rest of the moisture will begin to steam away. Rinse and repeat.

My emotions seem to be following a similar pattern in these first days filled with transition. I am bright and sunny one minute then things turn gray, maybe some rain before the sun comes out again. I’m doing my best to balance alone time with time spent in the company of new friends with calls made to family at home. Not having constant access to internet, while a little frustrating at first, has proven to be a blessing. I am finding different, perhaps more appropriate ways to cope with/adapt to my new surroundings. Writing seems to be the most beneficial; I hope to make a habit of it.

Well, this feels like a good place to close because in the infamous words of the Beatles, “here comes the sun, doot n doodoo.”