Friday, October 15, 2010


When I flew north, almost a month ago, I had to take my big, expandable bag as well as my traveling backpack with wheels to fit in all the things I was bringing north - gifts for friends, artesania for our PeaceHealth tables, an ancient laptop that proved to be DOA as well as my very lively MacBook, a few clothes that fit the climate of Seattle better than that of Suchitoto. I thought that maybe on return I could put the backpack inside the big suitcase, check that in, and travel lightly with just the MacBook and a purse.

Unlikely. I've just finished prepacking, and I'm using every inch of both suitcases. The Spanish and bilingual kids' books are in the backpack, along with a few books that attached themselves to me. The water filters, ginger marmalade, assorted medications and vitamins, 80 or so cards with Salvadoran photos, a couple pairs of shoes, the crossword puzzles my sister has carefully saved for Margaret Jane and me, 37 tea bags and assorted clothes are nested in the big suitcase. Everything in both bags is wrapped and surrounded in soccer jerseys - the 16 bright orange soccer jerseys given by my dental hygienist, Ellen Hawks (bless her) for Alcides' equipo de futbol in Suchitoto. I'll check in both bags and carry on my purse and two laptops - one, an ancient-of-days reconstructed by PeaceHealth's peerless Jeff Bruer with Ubuntu software, is for Walther, whose laptop was stolen in a raid on the bus he was riding in. But there's no way to think of myself as traveling light, and I don't suppose there ever will be. I'll just have to content myself with traveling happy.

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