Sólo he estado en El Salvador cuarenta y seis días…
When you first travel to a new location, your senses are hyper aware of what’s going on around you. Smells are stronger, sounds are louder, and sights are grander. But as you become more settled in where you are, you eventually get used to the new sounds, sights, smells, and tastes. You start adapting to life in a new location more and more to the point where dogs barking at midnight no longer phase you and you start adding more and more hot sauce to your pupusas because it’s no longer as spicy as you first remembered it being.
I knew that those initial sensations would eventually fade so before I became so accustomed to them that I could no longer recognize them as “different”, I started writing them down. I’ve now accumulated several bullets for each sense (taste, smell, sound, touch, sights). But for the sake of read-ability, I’m going to split it into two or more posts (since these posts are more word-heavy than picture-heavy).
I’ve written this type of post before when I went to Greece and it’s one of my favorite posts to go back and read from time to time. It immediately transports me back to that wonderful trip. Anyway, here’s what I’ve accumulated so far. I’m already looking forward to two years from now when I can look back and re-read this post and re-live this trip again as well!
Sounds of El Salvador
- Roosters crowing at 9:00pm, 12:00am, 3:00am, 6:00am and whenever they feel like it
- Dogs barking
- Gnats flying around your ears at night when you’re on your computer with the lights out
- The song that comes on the radio whenever they are about to announce a death in the town
- Construction on the roads without any warning
- Pigeons cooing outside your window
- Spanish that slowly morphs from “babbling” to complete conversations
- “Andrea” pronounced with a Spanish accent
- The out-of-tune church singer down the street at dinner on Wednesdays
- Children’s laughter on Sunday afternoons
- The blood pressure cuff taking someone’s pressure at the clinic
- Metal doors of houses opening and shutting
- Pots and pans rattling in the kitchen in the morning
- Listening for David’s truck outside the house signaling that he’s arriving or leaving
Sights of El Salvador
- Funeral processions going down the main street (pick-up truck with the casket at the front and dozens of people walking after it)
- Trees with the same flower but different color (white, orange, cream, blush, pink, purple, red, etc.) all over the country
- The view from the top of Alegria’s volcano
- The beautiful emerald-green color of the lake in the middle of the volcano
- Signs for ferreterias (hardware stroes) along the roadside
- People selling green mangoes along the side of the road between large towns
- The beautiful garden at the clinic from the nurses’ station window
- Kaitlin’s pet bunny begging for food at the dinner table
- More ants than you wish you’d see
This is by no means a comprehensive list of everything that I’ve experienced, but what I hope is a good sampling of everything. Stay tuned for the rest of the list!