The Astounding Travel Adventures of a Miraculous Fellow

Hi. I am in El Salvador.
June 6, 2008, 1:06 pm
Filed under: The Salvador


Well, this week started out just like all of the others – that is, until the unicorns attacked.  

No, wait, that’s not at all true at all: they attacked last week.  

This week started out just like all the others.  Period.  I worked a lot, basically just walking around talking to people in broken Spanish while they rattled off long-winded incomprehensible sentences to me in warp speed Spanish.  I usually just answer “Sí, adios” – which would explain why a group of 40 villagers came to collect on the internal organs I promised them.  Unfortunately for me, Salvadoran law dictates that a spoken contract (especially “si, adios”) is a binding agreement.  So now I only have 2 fingers,
one arm, and function solely on the efficiency of my gall bladder.  That little son-of-a-gun sure has handled the burden of functioning as the heart, liver, lungs, and stomach courageously.  It’s also kind of tough moving around with only one arm, but the people were kind enough to provide me with a shopping cart and they always get me that initial push to get me moving down hills.  Stopping is tough, but the cow shit slows me down some, and the pig at the bottom of the hill usually absorbs a lot of the impact.

Anywho, things are good here.  Two new volunteers showed up from the USofA, so for the first time in the last two months, I am not the only gringo in Bajo Lempa.  So now I just talk to my Salvadoran friends and say “Look at those white people.  Who do they think they are, being all white and stuff.  Stupid gringos, go back to your country!”  This is usually is answered by a swift and merciless machete chop to my windpipe.  \

Actually it is amazingly nice to speak English to more than one person.  And we can talk all kinds of shit to the locals and they have no idea.  I like to smile and wave and say “hello, your odor resembles that of the local pig that dines the human feces field.” To which they reply with a swift, merciless machete chop to my windpipe.  Maybe they can understand some English.

I’ve been doing a lot of work to keep me busy, as well as fishing and playing soccer; the latter usually takes precedent over the actual “work”.  I move from community to community every four days, mainly to remain sane from the life in Salinas and my host family’s 1683 children.  They are a great family and extremely kind, but I share my room with 2 or 3 children every night – mis hermanos.  The family has five kids under
the age of 11, and has effectively defeated the laws of human reproduction because a new kid seems to be born every 6 or 7 days. 

My day usually consists of waking up in a pool of sweat at 6 or 7am, then taking a “shower” (bowl and basin full of brown water — which I noticed the other day has fish living in it), then going to work.  When I come home for lunch, the kids see me riding my bike by, and begin to hatch their plan for “Operation Make the Gringo Lose his Marbles.” As soon as I sit down to eat, I sense the 3 year old lurking, like the part in Jaws right when the music starts before he eats a cruise ship or maybe an aircraft carrier (that was in “Jaws 9: Jaws’ Revenge on the US Navy because they Blew Up his Grandma.”  No one saw that one?  It was up there with those greats such as “Weekend at Bernie’s 2” and “Speed 2” or maybe even any of the new Star Wars movies).  Anywho, the 3 year old comes in to the room, mutters something in Spanish — probably “you’re in deep shit Gringo – then proceeds to turn every piece of electrical equipment on and off 400 times
(luckily, there’s only a fan, a TV, and one light for him to play with, or we’d be there for awhile).  After this bores him, he changes the channels, turns up the volume to “deafening” then proceeds to show me all of his pants.  The pants thing is kinda cute, but then he efficiently erases that by coughing up a lung and spitting his discharge on the floor, inside.

Enter the 5 year old.  Her name is Esmeralda and she has Down’s syndrome.  Her favorite game involves hitting or kicking me, then throwing whatever is nearby at me, especially shrimp.  She loves this game.  I on the other hand, would much rather enjoy watching paint dry or endure another scorpion attack.

Then comes in the 2 year old.  So far in this lovable little scamp’s 24 plus months on this planet he has not discovered the misfortune of clothing.  He just cruises around in the buff, then spits on the floor.  Next come the 8 and 11 year olds, and as I cower in the corner, whimpering, deaf from the TV, ducking projectile shoes, shrimp, and tortillas, I longingly dream of the weekend in Ciudad Romero, where I have my own room, and the only shrimp-throwing is done by me into my face hole (the mouth one).

So, that’s my family life here.  It’s not so bad; occasionally I get 4.5 minutes before the kids descend on me.  And sometimes, at night, the dramatic storylines of “Mujer con Pantalones” transfix us all into a peaceful calm, which is only broken by a shrimp ricocheting off my forehead. 

So, that’s my gig here.  Not too glorious; never boring.  The people are still amazing, and I have managed to stop sweating sometimes. 

Plus, every now and then, when the winds are blowing in the right direction, the moons are aligned, and the gods are smiling – the bovine agitation level boils over, and the cow fights are plentiful.

It is in this time that all is right with the world.


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