Thursday, March 15, 2012

Travelogue with complications

Today began and ended splendidly.  The middle was questionable.

Rose Young and Donna Quaife, (that's Donna in the rocking chair and Patti Moore and Rose with me in the dining room)  both of them sterling members of our 2011 medical mission in San Rafael Cedros, are visiting our Base House here in Suchitoto for a couple of days, and we began the morning happily with pancakes, bacon, and a good long walk down to Lago Suchitlan - about 2 miles, but all downhill.  Had a coke, enjoyed the breezes, took the little shuttle bus back UP to Suchitoto Centro.  Back at the house, we connected with Patti Moore, who'd been studying Spanish while we larked, and made lunch from last night's arroz con pollo - a Rose and Susan joint project - with avocado, tomato and watermelon on the side.

Then we all hopped in the car for a visit to Ilobasco and San Sebastian, two towns famous for their crafts.  I decided it would be fun to go via Cinquera, the next town to the east of Suchitoto, knowing that it would be a slow, but scenic, dirt road.  Slow it was, scenic it was (especially watching cattle crossing this river), and somewhere after Cinquera a bug announced that it had gotten into my digestive tract and wanted to get out PRONTO.  Never before have I had to find a pooping place along the side of the road, but alas, that was necessary.  I don't think too many cars passed and I hope none of them were from Suchitoto.  Ten minutes later, another urgent call - this time we were in a small town, and I pulled over and dashed into a little government office, which - thank you, God - had a very helpful guard and the cleanest bathroom I've ever seen.  Ten minutes later we pulled into Ilobasco and my final port of call in a Pollo Compero (another kindly guard - I must have looked as desperate as I felt).  And then the bug was gone.  I did hobble over to the nearest pharmacy for a Cipro, but I'm pretty sure I didn't really need it. 

And so we all went on - my three most understanding and helpful friends who were only laughing a little and my recovered self - to the Moje shop where we had a great time (Moje is an organization that gives crafts training and employment to youth who would otherwise be likely candidates for gang membership - they sell beautiful crafts in clay and wood).  And we went on to San Sebastian, famous for its weavers, where we visited Nohemy's shop and watched one of the weavers at his hard and demanding and beautiful work.

We drove happily back to Suchitoto (all on paved highway this time) with purchases and photos, headed to La Balanza for pupusas and Salvadoran enchiladas - a great, full day, and somehow even catastrophes are not so bad when you share them with friends.

Photos by Rose Young

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