Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday: UNO, volcanoes, and Chocolate!

Hola Todos!  Hoy es el cuarto dia en El Salvador. 

Today we weren't awoken by air horn which I was very grateful for, it was a much nicer way to begin my day.  We did a little bit of site seeing on our way to the school (note the beautiful landscape picture below).  Once at the work site we continued working on the additional classroom.  Something that really was fun today was that Kayla, Molly (Linehan), and I went and spent some time with the kids during their recess with the intention of playing UNO with them. Unfortunately (but not really) there were WAY too many kids interested in playing the game, so we made up our own (which was so much more fun).  We used the UNO cards to go over numbers and colors with the kids (in English- because they only know Spanish), and the kids just loved it.  We had about 30 kids swarming us wanting to play and the most amazing part was that they wanted to learn.  We all had a good time (Even Kayla who knows "un poco" Spanish took charge for a while and played with the kids learning the new Spanish words "color" (color) and "numero" (number) in order to communicate with them).  The teachers even allowed us to continue playing with the group that was supposed to be having gym class after recess was over.  We were also invited to see a science experiment of the kids-a classic one- a volcano!  The kids were divided in groups and had made their volcanoes using local clay.  They put in baking soda (loads of it) and cool aid (for coloring) before adding vinegar and BOOM! Explosive volcano action. 

On the way back to the volunteer house we stopped by a nature preservative that Lynette knew.  It was really interesting to see all of the different plants they had there.  I never knew what a cocoa tree (where chocolate comes from) looked like never mind the fruit.  Below we have a picture of a cocoa fruit opened to reveal its seeds.  We actually got to suck on the seeds and eat the fleshy covering.  It was good, but I don't really know of something similar taste wise to compare it to, to paint a better picture for you.  We also got to try some other tasty treats like some mandarin oranges freshly picked (makes such a difference), and some juices (orange, passion fruit, and tangerine) all freshly squeezed.  I'm not sure if I can go back to the orange juice in the Caff I generally have for breakfast because now I'm spoiled.  We saw some other interesting plants like the passion fruit tree/flower and a  coffee plant (also didn't look anything like I was expecting, but I don't know what I was expecting).  Some people bought coffee here (I'm not a coffee person - I don't drink it at all - but it smelled so good, I tried a sip of Molly's and it was by far my best experience with coffee).  Besides all the cool and tasty foods/drinks we got to try it was just neat to sit down in the gazebo and enjoy the fantastic view (and company).

After dinner we watched the movie "Romero" which tells the story of the Arch Bishop of El Salvador during the beginnings of the civil war here.  The movie was very interesting (at first when they told us we were watching this movie I feared it was going to be a boring documentary- not the case).  Not only was the story engaging, but it also made us think about what it was really like during the civil war time here and all the politics, ideologies, and what not that go into a war and from both perspectives.  It really makes me think of how bad things had to get before the war formally got started.

View of the mountains on the way to Ilobasco

Group shot.. Yes we are adorable!

Chocolate anyone ?

Freshly picked, ground, and brewed Salvadoran coffee


  1. This all seems very wonderful, ladies!! You seem to be getting lots of quality time with children!! But clearly nothing is as exciting as Erie right now. I have been reading daily and can't wait to hear about everything first-hand!

    And remember: "Hola! Yo soy tu madre ahorra." Miss you all!! <3JK