Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Among the flowers

Andrea, Beth and I just returned from two lovely days along the Ruta de los Flores - a string of five beautiful old towns high in the hills a couple of hours west of San Salvador Eleanor kindly let us use the PeaceHealth car for our journey, and Andrea drove expertly and threaded all the impossible streets with the grace of one who's lived here before.

We stayed at El Jardin de Celeste (Celeste's garden), a beautiful restaurant-hotel full of flowers and charm. We were in a little log cabin - one room with three beds and our own bathroom (very characteristic of Salvadorans not to want separate bedrooms, so those are only provided in very Norteamericano places). From there we ventured out to Apaneca, Juayua (great market and we got to the church just in time for Mass), Ataco (wonderful crafts stores and weaving sheds), and Nauhizalco (one of the few communities in El Salvador with strong indigenous roots). And we ate good food, told stories, found surprising places, and enjoyed the feeling of being on vacation! Didn't have a camera with us, though, so I can't share any of it with you.

I'm happy to say that the pain in my shoulder is gone, and that I'm gradually extending the range of motion, so by now would feel comfortable driving & doing almost all the daily tasks.

Now we head to Guatemala for a couple of days in Antigua and - we hope - a flying visit to Sheila McShane's health mission. More on that later, maybe even photos. It's great to be here, to be beginning this new life and new work. A lovely way to begin a new year!

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