Sólo he estado en El Salvador cincuenta y siete días…
I just got back from the market after working a half-day at the clinic (yes, we work on Saturdays. Boo.) and wanted to share with you all the joy of the market.
Here are just some things I love about going to the market here in Jucuapa:
- It’s one of the places I’m allowed to go by myself so I love it so much as a place of refuge when I’m trying to be by myself. (It’s safe enough as long as I don’t go deep into the trenches of the market and stay on the outside, as I always do.)
- Food shopping is really therapeutic for me. I love it now just as much as when I moved into my house at UNC (the first time I was really on my own.) It’s all about having a budget, taking responsibility of what I eat, making sure it’s healthy, and having a fun treat on the side 🙂
- Markets are a huge thing in almost every country in the world. It makes me feel somewhat nostalgic that for centuries people have gone to the market to buy their locally grown food and here I am doing that in 2013.
- It’s also cool that for nearly everyone that goes abroad, we all have something in common: braving the local market.
- It makes me feel really confident in my language and life skills here in El Salvador. Sometimes I take a second to really soak in the fact that I am buying food in another language by myself and they understand me! I don’t think I can ever get over that.
It’s a shame that I don’t go more often than I’m able to.
But I also wanted to share with you all how amazing shopping is here. Some things cost quite a bit (I’m speaking to you, milk, peanut butter, and butter!) but other things, like fresh fruits and vegetables, cost very little compared to the grocery store in the US. For example, here’s a list of everything I bought today for only $12.71:
- 1/2 gallon of milk
- 6 individual yogurts
- pineapple jelly
- 3 bananas
- 1/2 lb grapes
- 1 mango
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 avocados
- 1 onion
- 1 package of strawberries
- 2 large carrots
- 2 handmade tortillas
- 1 package of oreos (my weakness here in El Salvador)
- 1 coconut donut (fresh!)
Can you believe it?! It’s so opposite of life in the US. Fresh foods (namely, fruits and vegetables) cost so much less that other foods. For example, the mango I bought cost only $0.35 and a small bag of chips in a store costs $0.25 or $0.50! That’s not to say that the poor kids in the town eat healthy at all, though. You usually see them with an ice cream or chips in their hands, which is sad.
But I am so thankful for the hour spent at the market today, enjoying my time to explore, search, buy, and think. The only annoying thing now is cleaning my fresh food before I can eat it. That’s actually what the picture is of at the top of this post. We Americans use a watered-down bleach water to clean the food for about half an hour then thoroughly rinse and let soak in water for another half an hour. Not the most fun thing in the world but it’s better than spending your day in the bathroom 🙂
Could it be possible that I went this long without a post? Seriously, after not blogging for about two weeks, the shame crept in. But what can I say? I love reading other people’s blogs, trying to get good grades, and hanging out with friends too much!
So in order to keep this blog and myself updated, I decided to have New Years resolutions two months early and for the month of November. Really, I’m just going public with my to-do list for all you people to read. But hopefully there is some fun stuff on it!
Without further ado, here ’tis:
- Realize that all down time that I have needs to be devoted to my classes. That means no more working on other work during classes, making sure I read books on time, and taking advantage of study guides.
- However, that doesn’t mean that I need to become a hermit, so this November I will remember that I need friends and fun time to remain sane. Oh, and sleep. Definitely sleep.
- Bake one time just for the heck of it and hand it out to friends (hello pinterest!)
- Blog two times per week (includes Music Monday).
- Study for anatomy lab before the weekend before the test.
- Have studied for a total of 4 hours for each class before Thanksgiving break so that I can relax more during break. (I have 4 finals within 5 days this semester…)
And a special resolution for this week:
- Keep my side of the room clean until Sunday night (I can hear you laughing, Lindsay…) That includes clothes on the floor, bed made, desk [relatively] clean, and dishes washed.
So yeah! That’s my November Resolution and I’m glad I finally wrote it all down and actually blogged again! I’ve missed this… 🙂
Today is my last day in Greece (cue extremely sad face) but Dina and I won’t let the last night go without a trace so we got dressed up, walked around Polichrono, and came to Tropical, the bar we go to every night for drinks. Not sure when our friends are going to show up but we’re having a great time talking and soaking up the last couple of hours in Greece. We might even make a 3:00 am run for gyros!
Greece: the land where…
– men wear speedos
– children swim naked
– women embrace their natural body shape
– coffee and drinks are their own food group and deserve at least 1 hour of your day
– tv doesn’t exist because there are millions of better things to do
– you can become friends with anyone (only if you speak the same language…)
– good food is everywhere
– the children run free
– the water is so clear you can see several yards to the bottom of the sea
– you can spend a whole week and not meet a single American
– eating meals inside instead of on the balcony is for losers
– you can buy fresh fruit right on the beach
– siestas are a lifesaver after sitting in the sun all morning
– sleeping with anything more than a thin sheet means waking up in the middle of the night sweating
– salt dries on your skin during your first swim of the day and stays there all day
– anyone can get tan
– bathing suits are acceptable forms of clothing anywhere
We leave tomorrow morning at 10:00 am and drive to Paracin, Serbia (Dina’s hometown) and will stay there for about two days until we go full circle back to Belgrade.
I hope everyone is having a great week!
Smells of Greece:
- tanning oil
- Marlboro cigarettes (no, I don’t smoke but everyone else does)
- wonderful home cooked meals from the balconies around ours
- crepes with chocolate and ice cream
- the salty air
- a wonderful coffee in the morning
- the warm, refreshing air when you wake up from siesta
- coffee coffee coffee
- that smell after the rain
Sounds of Greece:
- Greek, Serbian, Romanian, English, and French conversations everywhere
- a mixture of music from all over the world the whole day on the beach
- Serbian karaoke at night
- plates being put on the table on the balcony at breakfast (10:00am), lunch (4:00), and dinner (8:00)
- children running around in their bathing suits at all times of the day
- men yelling out “donuts” in three languages (Greek, Serbian, English) on the beach
- club music at night
- the lapping of water against you when you swim in the sea
- thunder and heavy raindrops slapping the tiles on the balcony on Sain Ilija day
- Random songs played on my computer while Dina and I dance along like maniacs
…sitting in the living room blogging because I woke up on my own before 8 am. Who knew that was even possible?
…hoping that my job offer comes through at Villa Antonio. Long story short, I met with the manager and he said “You’ve got a job!” (although in a way more sophisticated way, I mean, have you seen Villa Antonio?!). Then yesterday I get a call from Villa Antonio’s assistant that they’re not hiring anyone right now. After calming down from being more than a little steamed, I decided to call the guy that hired me and ask if I was really out of luck (because he mentioned that they already have a hostess but they’re firing her). Soo… I hope she is still getting fired and I’m still going to have a job.
…excited to make this amazing chandelier this summer.
…slowly but surely getting annoyed with tv. This is only the product of having no job coupled with nothing interesting on tv.
…going to see my incredible friends in Raleigh tomorrow! I’m driving up with my friend Rebecca to meet Lindsay (future roommate), Julie, Katherine, and Mary Katherine. Amy‘s coming up Sunday morning where we’ll all go to Summit (my home church when I’m at UNC) to see Mary Katherine get baptized (on her birthday, no less)!
…loving my new haircut (just a trim, but a darn good one at that!)
…dreaming of where I want to live after I graduate college and get a job.
…so excited for Emily Hoffman to be back in the US!
…really needing to post more about Serbia. After all, it’s only 2 months and 1 week away!
Hi there everyone! Sorry for the lack of posts lately, but schoolwork is again taking over my life. So in order to provide some goodies for you to read while I keep my sanity and work on my LAST chem lab that’s due tomorrow, I’ve decided to do a bulleted post! They probably won’t have anything to do with eachother and might resemble my brain in soup form. You know- a little bit of potato, a lil’ bit of meat, some seasoning and tomatoes, and a whole lot of nothin’. So here goes:
- The women’s beach retreat was amazing and I promise I’ll post more about that (probably this weekend). In the mean time, my friend Julie went on the retreat too and she wrote the most amazing post about it.
- I had my fitness class today (also talked about here) and we played soccer. Amazingly, I enjoyed it! I was not about to publicly humiliate myself by pretending to play soccer and I didn’t want to do laps up and down the field by myself just to look like I was trying, so I volunteered to be the goalie. Here are the exact words from my TA: “I think you’ve missed your calling… you should have been a goalie growing up.” WHAT?! You mean to say that I’m actually good at a sport in this class?! That I could actually be valuable to this team?! Made my day. 🙂
- I got an email from my AP English teacher last week and have yet to email him back. Not because I don’t want to- actually I can’t wait to email him back- but because schoolwork and sleep somehow have taken a priority status the past couple of days. But you know what, now I have that much more to email him!
- I want to play bananagrams. Best game in the world.
- I want sleep.
- It’s raining in Chapel Hill a lot this week and next which, of course, means my rainboots had to break.
Yeah, so that’s about it. Haha, you can tell I thought about each bullet a little less every time. But I guess this post is pretty representative of what I’ve been through since Sunday at 4:00 when I got back from the beach retreat. Cue sad (and droopy-eyed tired) face.