Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bonnie's Day at the Beach (...well, the rest of us were there too... but she wrote this post)

Here I am, nearly finished this journey of discovery and enlightenment in El Salvador. I have about a week and a half left and it will fly by since we are now beginning to go to tech for the play. This Saturday we will see all the costumes on the students for the first time. Last Friday was the last day of employment for the three ladies hired to assist with building the costumes for "Fuente Ovejuna ". It was a teary goodbye with a cake that was served to the entire school. They have worked hard and hopefully will come and see the play at the opening so that they can be proud of all their work as I am of them.

Sometimes, each day is a repetition of every other day, yet I know I am learning and hopefully am teaching too. I love everything about what I am experiencing, including my bug bites and the extreme heat. I love it because I am blessed. Blessed to be given this gift of growth to be able to learn and serve. I am humbled and fulfilled. I will never look at my life the same way again.

In Canada, the arts are a very difficult way to support your life, yet we have so much. Here, the arts are offering a sense of purpose, a new way of thinking and an opportunity to think, grow and discover. It is a chance for these kids to mature in an all accepting manner and to enrich their cultural awareness.

Sunday was our day off and at 7 AM, we piled into a passenger van for the 2 hour drive to the coast. It was worth every cent we spent and an experience I will never forget. El Salvador must be on huge mountain that was pushed up from the ocean millions of years ago by a volcano. It felt like all we did for 2 hours was drive down, down, down to the ocean. The sand is ultra fine black volcanic rock and the beach is lined with palm trees. I expected the water to be warm, but nothing like it was. I have only had cold showers since I got here and it was like floating in the most therapeutic warm salt bath, yet the waves were strong. As the warm waves crashed to shore, I felt my cares drifts away and the heat and the sun covered me as I spent the day swimming, eating, drinking and swimming again. It was too hot to sunbathe and I was covered in a 30 sun block but did manage to get a burn on my lower back. The undertow was tough so we spent the day using our strength to stay standing or jumping and just all round silly fun. Some of us tried boogie boards but I gave it a pass. The food was seafood , Pacific lobsters (lagostinas) and fish (a huge mystery fish) and raw oysters served with lime and course salt . I have refused to try raw oysters all my life although I will eat them cooked (something about wanting to make sure what I am eating is not still alive) but what the heck, I was in El Salvador, how awful could it be? So I ate them. They were fine. Not bad, but still not a total convert. It was more fun just sharing the moment.

We stayed until well after dark. Watching the sun slowly disappear over the horizon of the Pacific was magical. The last glows as the world revolved away from the light offered a quiet moment of calm reflection of the wonders we have around us.

It was a silent 2 hour drive back to Suchitoto, as we all snoozed from the exhausting fun of a day off at the ocean.

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