The Adventures of El Salvador 2.0 – Day 2

Today has been a day full of stories, learning, and adventures! We started off with el Salvadorian coffee, a fantastic breakfast, switching hotels, and attending service at Zurisidai church.

For those of you who are anything like me and prefer to hear stories by seeing photos rather than reading lots and lots of text, this post is for you.  Standby for many many photos.

Switching gears back into today – it was absolutely delightful to be back at the church, see some familiar faces, be a part of a Spanish service, and to simply attend church in another country.  One of my favorite parts of every trip is attending church.  It is such a great reminder that God moves no matter what gear we have available, no matter how quality the audio mix is, no matter whether song lyrics are visible.  God moves in big ways despite us.  So beautiful!  They sang two songs that I knew – How Great Thou Art and Hallelujah.  It is so cool to hear familiar songs in a different language and see how God moves through the same songs in a different place.  So impactful!

Team photo with Erlinda!

Team photo with Erlinda!

I had read over my blogs from last year while we were in the airport on the way to El Salvador, and it brought back so many memories. It was especially delightful to see Jani, hear that she is back to full health, and to see their house that is now completed and gorgeous! Today, we saw Rosa, her daughter, and grandson in church, we walked to a local school, stopped by Erlinda’s house, walked to the large water resolver that willow sponsored, and had some great adventures along the way…one of which included Danae screaming because Scotty startled her by throwing a coffee bean at her.  Here’s the thing, though…Scotty was standing almost right in front of Danae, but Danae was focusing so hard on not tripping that the coffee bean came as an extreme surprise. Best. Moment. Ever.

Elsa and her stove!

Elsa and her stove!

Between a briefing last night and some home visits today, we learned more about the importance of the Eco stove project and Enlace. The project we are working on is officially called the, “Cooking Up Love” campaign. This project was born out of community churches approaching Enlace with a great need in their areas – cleaner cooking. The Eco stoves not only provide a smoke free cooking environment, but they also only require a third of the wood it would take to cook over an open fire. The health benefits from families who have Eco stoves are tremendous. Check out this video to learn more:

So far, Zurisidai church and Enlace have built 27 Eco stoves in the San Jacinto area. They have identified 55 other families in the region that still need these stoves. Each stove costs only $250, which is amazing for the amount of benefits it provides. But before a anyone can receive an eco stove, a process must occur in which community and church leaders poll their region to find the areas of greatest need. Marvin, one of our friends from Enlace, said it best, “It is more than a stove – it is compassion, building the will to help one’s brother.” It is a life changing thing.  Our goal this week is to build between 10-15 of these stoves.  I’m super pumped.

Now that you know more about what we’re doing, let me introduce you to the people who will be doing this work:

Scotty

Scotty

Scotty – Trip Team Leader
He was on my trip last year to El Salvador, is super competitive (or just likes to talk trash, as he says, to make it more fun), can say any word backwards, and only eats gum in half pieces.

Erica

Erica

Erica –
Erica is a first grade teacher, a 9 on the enneagram, Scotty’s wife, and when her stray hairs are found laying around, Scotty calls them “Hairicas.”

Gabe

Gabe

Gabe –

He has informed us of a few interesting health quirks along the way, which have come up in conversation since then, he is Serena’s husband, and he doesn’t speak much (or any according to Serena) Spanish.

Serena

Serena

Serena –

Is the competition queen, loves to drive fast, is a high school science teacher, doesn’t swim, and is an organizing master.  She hates it when people misuse their blinkers, and when stores are closed but their open signs are still displayed.

Danae!

Danae!

Danae –

Is super gullible (as we were informed about five times today), got hit with a coffee bean today, has been to Haiti with Scotty, is a special ed teacher, and loves to verbally process.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth

Elizabeth –
Is an 8th grade science teacher, loves mitochondria, has a leaky water bottle, and has participated in Royal Family Kids camp many times.

Michelle

Michelle

Michelle –
Is studying to be a dietician at a random college in Missouri, has been a vegetarian since early teen-hood, and needs a pillow to be able to see over the dashboard in her family’s Chevelle.

Luke

Luke

Luke –
Has an awesome haircut, is about twice Erlinda’s height, he primarily eats three food types (one of which is pizza with applesauce), and is a huge fan of superhero movies.

Josh

Josh

Josh –
Just got off of shooting a film downtown Chicago, speaks fluent Spanish, is working on growing a fro, and he thought Frodo Baggins’ name was Frondo.

Joy

Joy

Joy –
Recently dropped a 40 pound weight on my toe then proceeded to run over it with my suitcase yesterday, loves nerd glasses, and has a food aversion to bell peppers.

Now that you know us all a bit, the rest of these stories will be so much more fun.

Tonight at dinner, we went to the local Pizza Hut, where we put one of our guides, Jager, on the spot by asking him to figure out how old each of us are.  The funniest moment was when Jager confessed that initially he thought Erica was Scotty’s daughter.  This assumption was purely based on an observation he made in the van, where Erica and Scotty weren’t sitting together, but they had the same last name.  Thus, we are now making jokes around Jager about this assumption…so great.

So now we’re playing catch phrase, cracking up like none other, and enjoying each other’s company.  It’s great.

Here are some stellar photos from today!

 

First team photo!

First team photo!

Scotty and Erica

Scotty and Erica

Man Yoga?

Man Yoga?

Morning team photo

Morning team photo

Pastor Mauricio and Jager at church

Pastor Mauricio and Jager at church

Gabe, Elsa Pacheco, Josh, Michelle, and Danae outside Elsa's Eco Stove

Gabe, Elsa Pacheco, Josh, Michelle, and Danae outside Elsa’s Eco Stove

Bananas!

Bananas!

Team leaders!

Team leaders!

Oh you know.  Hanging out with a Toyota.

Oh you know. Hanging out with a Toyota.

Such an honest photo!  I love Janita's face!

Such an honest photo! I love Janita’s face!

ElSalvador23

Michelle and I

 

 

Love some trees.

Love some trees.

 

Harrison, Jager, Pastor Mauricio, Arturo, and Marvin - the compadres.

Harrison, Jager, Pastor Mauricio, Arturo, and Marvin – the compadres.

Things we learn in El Salvador.

Things we learn in El Salvador.

Team photo with Erlinda!

Team photo with Erlinda!

 

 

Erlinda and her daughter

Erlinda and her daughter

 

Gorgeous Tree.

Gorgeous Tree.

Beautiful view

Beautiful view

Another awesome tree.

Another awesome tree.

Beautiful Smiles.

Beautiful Smiles.

Cows.

Cows.

  1. Nice; love the pics; keep em coming!

    Reply

  2. Nice pics, but I certainly didn’t expect a Bieber reference. Do you know Glenn calls him Jason Berber?

    Reply

  3. I’m guessing Danae was probably so surprised by the coffee bean because pretty much we’re a tea drinking family. And wouldn’t another word for ‘gullible’ be trusting!
    Joy, I think its time to consider a bare of steel toed boots since you’re so ‘prone’ to dropping things on your feet. I hope you can avoid building Eco-stoves in your sandles…
    Thanks for the blog and the pics.

    Reply

  4. Thanks for the updates! We miss you! You look beautiful – especially in a dress… Also, can you bring Erlinda home with you? I want to adopt her – so cute!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: