Greetings from El Salvador!
Today has been a good change of scenery from the rest of our week…and it all began last night. We arrived at our hotel, and found ourselves in paradise. I was picture perfect as we walked to our cabins down a fern-lined path, turned a corner by a small pool and caught view of little duplexes with hammocks outside. Anywhere there is a hammock, it is basically a little bit of heaven.
We ate dinner at the el Salvadorian equivalent of what seemed like a hunting lodge. The building was made up of huge treated logs, the walls had coffee bags for decoration, and there was even some artificial fruit to boot. They served a lovely dinner of beef soup, a salad, and lasagna. I love the food around here!
After dinner, we retreated to Kelly and my room, and played our nightly round of games. We started with UNO, a gam which one would think is relatively conflict-free….but nooooo…. We had some jeered debates about which way is the right way to play UNO. Eventually, we decided to serve one another and come to a consensus. We played Scotty’s version of “speed UNO,”in which you are allowed to lay down an identical match of a card that someone else has laid down, regardless of whether it is your turn or not. We also added in the compounding rule, in which you can add on an additional draw 2 card to the previous person’s draw two, which adds two more cards for the next person in line.
Tim quickly felt the brunt of this in our first round, after five of us compounded draw two cards, leaving him to draw 10 at one time. Every game until the last game, which he won, Tim always had at least 10 cards in his hand. He played the role of the bitter loser, complete with a dual reenactment of the scene from princess bride, “never mess with a Sicilian when death is on the line!” Tim and I did the maniacal laugh at the end, hen we fell over in unison. It was great. After UNO, we played our traditional few hands of Bananagrams, after which we went to bed.
This morning, we went zip lining through a coffee plantation! It was absolutely fantastic! Not only was it scenic, but also a grand adventure. We zipped on 13 different lines, with some going over broad and deep valleys, filled with coffee. On one line, Kelly almost bit it. When coming down the longest line, she was so taken with the scenery that she forgot to brake. When she hit the emergency brake line that the guide put out, she went from moving forward extremely fast, to looking like she had just hit the apex on a swing. Don’t worry – we have a therapist in our midst, and Kelly is okay. 🙂
After leaving the zip lining tour, we drove through a town called Apaneca, stopped at a post office for the benefit of Kelly and Mike, who were sending post cards, and then headed out to a street market in San Salvador. We walked around for a while, then Joanne spoke the truth when she said, “Hey guys, I am going to take Joy over here. She is breaking out in hives because of the shopping overload…”
After the market, we headed back to the hotel for a brief respite, after which we met Melissa for dinner. All 7 of us piled into her little corolla and headed out. I was sharing the front seat with Kelly, and Joanne, Tim, Scotty, and mike were in close quarters in the back. We managed to drive past a policeman without incident, and only bottomed out once.
After dinner, we did what Joanne calls, “popcorn blessings.” When she said that initially, my reply was, “This is the time where we suck in oil and explode all over everyone with blessings.” Spoken like a true homeschooler. It was a fantastic time of pure, concentrated encouragement. I know for a fact that everyone left with a satisfied feeling, and sore abs from laughing!
We ended our encouragement time with communion. It was definitely a communion to remember. Before we entered into our encouragement time, Melissa ran off real quick to get the elements…but we had no idea what she was doing. Our communion elements ended up being dry almond cookies and a purple Gatorade. All in remembrance of God! It was so great just to end the night with that final act of honor towards God.
Up next: one final round of Bananagrams with the team and Melissa! Woohoo!!! Early flight tomorrow, and getting back into Chicago tomorrow evening! There will be a final update in “The Adventures of El Salvador” series tomorrow. Look for it!
Here are some more photos from our adventures today!