More from San Salvador

Our outing to the coast was one of my favorites. The Pacific coastline is rugged in places, with big wide black sand beaches in others. It’s famous for it’s surf breaks, and that seems to be why most tourists come here. We ate deliciously cheap seafood right at the pier where the catch comes in. They prepare baby shrimp that you eat whole, shell and all. I freaked out a bit when the conch started moving and squirming when they squeezed lime on it. Apparently it’s only good when eaten ALIVE.

I also tried cow heart (not from the sea!) and a delightful fruit called granada, which is similar to pomegranate. Gladys taught me how to make fried plantains (the salty ones, not sweet ones), which I could eat day and night. They have a house by the beach they use on weekends, and used to raise rabbits there FOR EATING.

One day I made a huge salad, and they kept going on about how good it was. I think they don’t eat many fresh vegetables, even though the ingredients are available. Up in the mountains, we stopped to sample some of the local food on offer. I wish I could remember the name of this corn-based hot beverage spiced with cinnamon. It was delicious.

There are tons of fireworks for sale everywhere. Should be a bangin’ Christmas.
People from the various political parties are constantly on streetcorners waving huge flags, handing out brochures, putting up signs. It’s nice to see people so involved in the process.
There is a movement here to get U2 to tour here. The organization put up billboards, ads in papers, I’ve seen T-shirts, a web site, it’s very organized. Passion!
Similar to Honduras, I’ve learned that fast-food places have Wi-Fi. So I get my fixes by hanging around Pizza Huts and Pollo Comparos.

One day we went house hunting. They looked at a very modern place with 4 bedrooms, 4 baths, large living rooms, modern appliances, balconies, in a gated community, landscaped – $230k.

It makes such a difference staying with a family versus in a hotel. Walking the neighborhood, chatting with people, shopping in the market, being included in their daily activities. Unfortunately my Spanish is still quite poor, so I can’t participate in many of the conversations. All but the husband in the family speak at least some English, which makes things easy for me at home. I need to gather some discipline to study each day! Either that or take a week off to go back to school.

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