Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 2nd 2010 – Conflicting Feelings

So I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. I had spent the night in the Quality Hotel about 3 kilometers from the airport. The reason I didn’t just come straight to the airport today was because I was at ‘the mercy’ of my driver. We hire a local guy to drive me. It is way cheaper than a taxi and there are no direct nor indirect buses to the airport. So I’m stuck. Not really – but my options are limited.

Raúl probably would have driven me today, but Cecilia and Blanca won’t let me go alone. One of them always accompanies us. I don’t know if they are protecting me or the truck… haha

Today is Good Friday and everyone on the Team has commitments most of the day. So I spent the night near the airport out of respect for their time and commitments. I stayed here near the airport to take advantage of the shuttle service they have. I could stay cheaper in San Salvador, but then I would have to spend $35 on a taxi to get to the airport. And some of those taxi drivers are a bit creepy. So by the time I would pay a taxi and the San Salvador guest house, it really isn’t THAT much more. Except of course, the food is way more expensive at the Quality Hotel, too. Oh well.

I was asleep by 10 p.m. last night after having a very filling buffet supper and a beer. I had spent the day reading, eating, sitting in the sun, word-smithing some of my up-coming presentations and I.M’ing Mike. I even had a HOT shower. I haven’t felt this clean since last December.

I fell asleep fast. I was in a huge (relatively speaking) room with a king sized bed with 4 pillows and a down comforter. I had the a/c going and it was very comfy. Too comfy maybe.

I woke up at 5. Wide awake. I didn’t have to get to the airport till about 10 so I was a bit upset that I could not sleep. Maybe it was too quiet. Too comfy. To clean. I think I was feeling very guilty. I cried during my hot shower. On the way down to the hotel yesterday, we drove by a community water faucet. This is a common thing here. One tap for a lot of people. And the water typically only runs a day or two a week. Sometimes less often.

And as we drove by, there was a line up of cars and trucks with water barrels waiting to fill up. Remember the gas lines in the 70’s when there was a gas shortage or price wars? Can’t remember which it was now… but it was like that. Probably 10 trucks deep.

And Blanca and Idalia were telling me about the water problems in Alejandria. They have to walk about 15 minutes to get to their river to bathe, do their laundry and fetch the water they need to consume. Really it isn’t a huge walk relatively speaking. But… since it is April – the last month of the rainy season, there is major rationing here – there just isn’t any water in the town tanks. So the neighborhoods above Alejandria are going down to their river to do their laundry and bathe and collect. The ladies get to the river by 3 a.m. and there is already a long line of people with loads of laundry. So they have to wait and wait and by the time they get to the pila, it is dirty, ucky water.

And there I was wasting ALL that water. And it is clean water. The hotel filters their water. So I could actually drink it.

I have all this because I can.
Many, many people do not have that luxury.
It ISN’T fair.

1 comment:

Alisha Lundberg said...

They go to the rio at 3am? In the dark? Excuse my language, but holy crap!!! The walk may not be long but carrying those cantaros in the dark cannot be easy. I continue to be amazed and deeply saddened by the conditions many people live in. It seems like just when you think life can't get any worse, it does.