Sunday, October 28, 2007

Una Gota de Agua

I've got week two under my belt already. I sound like a broken record, but time is really flying. It seems like I was just in Costa Rica!

Overall, I have to say that it has been a pretty smooth transition. So smooth in fact, that it seems a little strange, but I am trying not to question a good thing. I'm sure I've mentioned that I am staying with a co-worker and her family. Actually, it is her in-laws that we live with, so we have Erin and her husband, his parents and his grandfather. The husband and parents are in an Andean band (lots of pan flutes) and spend most of the day rehearsing while we are at work. The grandfather is a miserable, crotchety little old man whose wife fled him and went into hiding in Guatamala. He doesn't really speak to anyone except for his grandson. He spends most of his time sitting under a tree across the street, unless it is raining, and then he stands in the carport with a little radio cursing the rain and mumbling about wishing his ex-wife were dead. I kinda feel bad for him, and then I think, "Well, Kharma's a bitch." Anyway, in the two weeks I've been living here, we have worked up exchanging a "buenos dias" (initiated by me) and then he ignores me the same as he does everyone else for the rest of the day.

I guess the really big news this week is that I have found a coffee shop I could die in. So, needless to say, it has become the focus point of my housing search. Which is going very slowly so far. Partly because I don't know the names of the colonias (Salvadoran word for barrio) so that slows things down. Also because it seems that everything so far is either tiny or huge. Tiny I don't mind so much, but another problem is that even here in the capital there is only running water in the mornings. The current administration in El Salvador seems to concern itself primarily with finding new and inventive ways of funneling funds directly to the aristocracy and barely bother to feign concern for citizens in general or the overwhelming masses of the poor in particular. The current strategy seems to be to grossly mismanage water safety and distribution to justify privatization. Water privatization in the third world means that prices will skyrocket and people will simply not be able to afford water. Have you ever stopped to think about how often you use water? To drink? To clean? To cook? To flush? There are an amazing amount of health issues that center around access to clean water.

Anyway, back to me. As I was saying, one challenge I have in finding a place to live is that I would really like to find a place that has a cistern, which means that I would get to have water all day long instead of just in the mornings. Otherwise, I have to find a place that has extra space to store a big barrel, which is in itself would be livable, but so far the places I have seen, simply don't allow for the space. Well, truthfully, I am willing to pay more have water at my whim and I am not yet desperate to find a place; two things that put me in the top 5% of the world's population.

oh... and yesterday I bought a thermos. :)

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