What a fabulous week we shared with Alisha’s family! In many ways they were similar to all delegations in that we visited the historical sites in San Salvador, a massacre site, communities, etc. But this ‘delegation’ was also very different. This was family. We had a little more flexibility with our agenda. For example – they wanted to see some of the ruins so we did that. We visited El Mozote to hear the testimony of that massacre, but we also visited Rio de los Bueyes to hear several ex-combatants speak of life for them during the war and the massacre that took place near there. Incredible. After that horrific account, we went to a local ‘pool’ for lunch. I don’t think I’d take a regular delegation there – too rustic. It was hard to get to – lots of ‘ducking’ in the back of the pick-up truck! And once we were finally there, there was no place to sit, it was very buggy and the water was a bit skuzzy … but I’m sure glad we went. I thought it was pretty cool! We dipped our feet anyway and had scores of little fish nibbling on our feet!We visited our Don Justo Coffee with Dignity farm and got a real complete explanation of how the coffee goes from seedling to our cup. We visited the lagoon inside the crater of Alegria and then had time to visit the actual town of Alegria – exploring the church, shops, park and beauty of this little town and even enjoyed a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate) from a vendor in the street.
The family even got to ‘help out’ delivering fertilizer: going to Mercedes Umaña to make the purchase, then they sat on top of the pooh in the back of the big truck on the way back to Berlin and then to San Francisco and then enjoyed visiting with the people while it was distributed.
They WALKED the two miles down then up to San Francisco the next day. We visited three families – 3 families who are being supported by their church with high school scholarships. We enjoyed the hospitality of a cup of coffee and some pan dulce before we made the walk back to the Pastoral House. We probably walked 5 miles that day. UP and down lots of ‘streets’ and paths.
They spent a morning with Alisha in her school. Four times in each of the 9 classes they sang and did the movements to Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes, handed out stickers and pencils and had a time to visit with the students. We visited the homes of the Pastoral Team members in Alejandria.
At the beginning of the week we ate at a new place in San Salvador called the Secret Garden (I won’t take a ‘real’ delegation there because it was way too expensive!!) and at the end of the week we enjoyed taking the Pastoral Team out to dinner in Alegria at their new favorite place with most of us getting huge shrimp which we ‘wore’ quite well as you have to eat it with your hands! Yum.
It was a very good week. And it really did fly.
A sad thing – 2 nights before they left – I got called down from the office – I had been working on their final budget (I give a summary of the actual costs vs the budgeted amounts) as well as a spreadsheet for the purchases that Compañeros made of Blanca’s Bags and crafts for the Latino Fest this year. When I went back up about 45 minutes later – there was a puddle of water on my desk near the computer and in two spots on the floor. The roof was not leaking and I had NO water in my office (nothing on my desk except a sealed bottle of water that was intact). We have NO idea where the water came from.
There was no evident water on the laptop … but … when I moved the laptop – there was water under it. And when I lifted the laptop, water dripped from it. I have a fan under my laptop to keep it cool. It essentially sucked up the water on the desk and forced it into the laptop from the bottom.
Matt, Alisha and I dried it as best we could. Matt un-did the little doors, we gently sopped up the water … Alisha had a can of air … then we set it out to dry over night … taking out the battery, etc. Bottom line is … it never returned to functioning. I have a dead laptop. Alisha’s mom took it back with her – Mike is going to putter with it to see if he can repair it. If not, I have a friend who knows how and has the equipment to extract the data from the hard-drive. And Mike can buy another laptop for me and bring it down when he and his church come down the beginning of July.
In the meantime I do have my little net-book that I bought last year for traveling and for my work trips back home. I hate the keyboard (keys stick and don’t always type what I click!!) but it’s better than nothing. But ALL of my documents, templates, pictures, reports, etc. are gone. Hopefully not forever.
I’m hoping I don’t have to buy another laptop. But if I do … such is life.
It really is a mystery as to how the water got in here. No roof leak – no wet windows – no water glass in my room … The Pastoral Team said it was a ‘water ghost’ - I have a guess that it was totally accidental and that someone feels too bad about it to ‘fess up.’ I’m trying not to make a huge deal of it here so no one feels worse than they probably already do …
There are definitely larger tragedies in life!!! I will keep it all in perspective.