And so we begin our adventures once again, heading southward towards the beautiful land of El Salvador. As I type this portion of the update, I am sitting in row 15, seat A, looking out over a rolls Royce jet engine and toy story-like puffy clouds out my window as we soar over the ocean. I can’t say that I am as ready for this trip as I have been in the past, but that by no means limits what can and will happen this week.
On this trip, I am co-leading a group of 10 twenty something’s alongside my buddy Scotty, who was on my last trip to El Salvador. I have been looking forward with great anticipation to the day when I could lead a trip…and now the time has come. Go figure! This is my second adventure in leadership in the span of a week, as one week ago, I was in the tech director chair for Willow’s annual high school camp, Sandblast. Crazy how time flies!
This morning started with a 3AM alarm, finishing last minute packing, and heading off to the airport for a 4:20A call time. It is one of those trips where once we arrived in Houston after our first flight, it already felt like mid afternoon. Lunch for breakfast, anyone? As Josh, one of the team members, so aptly stated…”Get a sandwich, and add some fruit to it. That’ll make it brunch!”
Today is a fu ll-on travel day. Once we arrive, we will be greeted by Arturo, our fantastic guide for the weekend, who will escort us to a hotel in San Salvador before we head out to Santa Ana tomorrow, where we will be staying for most of the week.
Our project this week is different than our last trip. This time around, we are building Eco stoves, which accomplish many positive functions. Smoke inhalation is a major problem in many homes in rural El Salvador, as cooking fires are built inside, under the roof. This traps the smoke. Over time, this greatly affects the health of the residents, and could lead to severe medical issues down the road. Our partner organization, Enlace, has teamed together with local churches to bring a solution – The Eco Stove. This stonework structure and ventilation solve the problem of trapped smoke, add reliable cooking surfaces, and is built to burn less wood than an open fire. The residents of the homes we visited last year that had these stoves were so grateful and pleased with their stoves! This year, we get to be a part of bringing cleaner home air to a few families. How cool is that?!
On a fantastic side note, we are going back to San Jacinto, which is where Scotty and I were last year. Matt, my cousin, was able to go on a trip to San Jacinto last March during spring break and do the very thing we are about to do. One stove at a time, we are helping bring positive change. What an honor!
I am so looking forward to seeing familiar faces from last year, interacting with Pastor Mauricio and Janita again, and going off on a whole new set of adventures.
Looking ahead to our evening, we are settled into our hotel, and are going to eat some fresh pupusas before receiving a briefing on our projects this week! Party on!
Standby for awesome.
Let’s go on this adventure together. Would you consider holding my team in prayer as we embark on adventures this week?
PS – Mom and Grandma – I made it safe!