Eso es alcanzar lo más alto,

lo que tal vez nos dará el Cielo:

no admiraciones ni victorias

sino sencillamente ser admitidos

como parte de una Realidad innegable,

como las piedras y los árboles.

Jorge Luis Borges

Fervor de Buenos Aires (1923)

This is the best that can happen,

What heaven perhaps will grant us:

Not to be wondered at or required

To succeed

But simply to be let in

As part of an undeniable Reality,

Like stones of the road, like trees.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Yes, it’s true, I’m in the middle of changes again, with more to come.  Here's some entertainment on the theme of changes while you are perusing the rest of my post.
This past week I’ve been incredibly sick.  It started last Saturday, January 15, after a day downtown.  I came home with a bit of a headache around 6:00 p.m. and by 8:00 I was feverish, sweating, shaking and freezing cold.  The fever stuck around for quite a few days and on Wednesday I finally went to the doctor who told me that it was caused by an intestinal infection.  Funny because throughout this whole week my stomach is actually the only thing that’s been feeling ok.  The doctor put me on antibiotics (again) and yesterday and today I've finally started to feel better but it is slow going.  I had to miss some days of language class which is very frustrating but I on the up side I do think I’m on the mend.
Because of a scheduling conflict at the school I had to switch teachers on Friday so that’s another adjustment.  I have also switched home stays and have been staying at the guest house for a few days while that sorts itself out.  All this while bearing in mind that I’m only here until the beginning of March, at which time there will be many more changes. 
As I understand the plan, I’ll start off my time in El Salvador by spending a week in orientation with ANADES at their main centre in Mejicanos (San Salvador).  It will be the same place I spent my first week in San Salvador in November (wow that feels like a long time ago already!).  That will be followed by a further week of orientation around San Julian which is the community I’ll be based out of.  During that week I’ll be staying at the coffee plantation that ANADES runs, and I’m guessing that some time after that is when I’ll be looking for a room of my own to (finally?) settle into for the next three years.  Or at least I can always hope!
I don’t have any pics of San Julian or the finca (coffee plantation) because I forgot my camera when I was there, so all I can offer is a description of the place.  San Julian itself strikes me as a beautiful, quiet, colonial mountain village.  There is a well-taken care of central square in front of a pretty white church.  The rest of the town also seems to have some cool community arts kinds of projects which I think could be fun to partner with.  When I was traveling around my first week with ANADES staff we arrived at San Julian one day and as we were driving into the market square I thought, "If I could choose to live anywhere it would look like this".  I'm not even making that up.  Then a few days later someone mentioned to me that most likely I'd be based out of San Julian.  I've been taking that as a good omen.
The finca is a ten or fifteen minute drive up the mountain on very rough roads.  Once you get up there you've got a view of paradise.  The finca sits on a mountain side so there are views of tropical mountains and valleys as far as you can see.  There is already a restaurant and some guest houses and ANADES I think may be investing in a bit more eco-tourism in this spot which is good for anyone thinking about coming to visit me.
So that's where things are at so far.  It's hard not to look ahead to March and instead to try to focus on moving to another family tomorrow and hopefully being able to learn lots from them about the language and culture here.  I'm nervous for tomorrow because there are so many things I don't understand which can make things very awkward!  But it's all a learning experience and I know more than I did two months ago. 
So here's to tomorrow, and to the many changes ahead!  Wish me luck :-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow!! Pretty crazy eh? I would love to come and see what you are explaining about the place you hope to live :) Sounds splendid! Missing you lots and thinking and praying for you often. Hope to skype with you tomorrow :) Love me