Life in San Salvador

Tonight I am watching TNT with a friend. We are sitting at her outdoor dinner table, a part of her home that’s comprised of a tile floor as is the rest of her home and a sloped ceiling that also matches the rest of her home and is replete with a ceiling fan. But the online walls are the ones that comprise her living room, kitchen and indoor dining room. The other two sides are open. The ceiling is steeply sloped because several months here, from approximately May to November, are known as the rainy season and at this time it rains pretty much daily.

Oh, the movie we are watching — (He’s Just Not That Into You). I have wanted to see this film since it came out but never got to. Now I am following it — in Espanyol. Following it, but not fully “getting” it. I recognize almost all the words. I know most. But for me there is knowing a word and instantly recognizing what it means. I don’t always recognize. Then there is the step of fully comprehending the entire sentence when all the words are strung together quickly. I don’t have that yet. Each word requires conscious thought for me. Yet, I do follow, so on some level I am grasping sentences and conversations.

I am in San Salvador, El Salvador, and my dinner as I watched the film was leftover Pupusas. We made them a couple of days ago and I heated then up quickly in the microwave tonight. It is Sunday, Domingo, and in this family lunch (amoroso) is the big meal of the day so I’d enjoyed BBQ meat and grilled vegetables. (I am craving some of their home-roasted-chocolate hot chocolate, but am trying to keep it parenthetical in my mind as I do here.)

I am sitting in the same white stackable plastic patio chair that I’d be sitting on at home. Two hammocks beacon but if I occupy one my mind will disengage a bit too much and I am working on both my Spanish and some stories-of-travel ideas.

Having lived the past three months at a hostal/guest house where travelers spoke English more than not, I am this week staying at my Salvadorian friends’ hogar (home). The entire family does speak English and will happily do so for me but they use Spanish together and I try to do the same. These particular friends, Flor and Clemente, are main reasons that my Spanish has improved.

I was supposed to be leaving tonight. However, once more, thanks to Clememte and Flor, I have another fascinating person to meet and story to learn. We changed my ticket out and I am here a little while longer.

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