Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Trámites means procedures, paperwork, going through official channels and today - after Eleanor and I put Andrea and Beth on the plane back to Seattle - was dedicated to trámites. I need to get a driver's license, transfer the title to our project car (a sturdy and faithful 1996 Toyota Forerunner) into my name, get my name on our bank statements, order new checks....and this was just the beginning. Thanks to our lawyer, Doctora Consuelo, our banker, Señor Paz, and the young woman who issued me an N.I.T. (No. de Identificacion Tributaria, which I think means something like Tax Identification Number) for the astonishing sum of 23 cents, I am well on the way to becoming a real person in the eyes of the Salvadoran government. What was best, and most astonishing to a Norteamericana, was the generosity and helpfulness of almost everyone we talked to. No one seemed to be rushing to the next task or project. Each person I met took account of my limited Spanish and made sure I understood what I needed to do.

And that's what I'm learning to love about El Salvador: relationships matter more than efficiency.

1 comment:

  1. Oh Susan, today's official tasks make this ministry even more real. What a bold adventure you are on. Prayers and vague dreams of a visit to your world. Love, MaryC