The day started early today, and we took the short drive over to Caluco where I got to see the lovely town square, then we went down a couple of roads to reach the local elementary school where we would spend the morning painting, playing with, and teaching the children.
I went straight to work on painting a classroom and its outside walls. Blue on the bottom and white on top, as is the standard in El Salvador (note the national flag). Painting is painting, so I won’t bother with more detail.
At recess I spent time with several kids and had them taking pictures with my camera – a couple of them were quite talented (see next gallery for examples). Speaking of which, it’s only two more days ’till we’re home again… I keep forgetting that it’s still basically winter at home despite the fact that I’ve been sweating to death for the last week and a half.
After the school we went to a restaurant-plaza in Caluco and had lunch with the mayor of the area. She seemed like a lovely lady and presented the group with certificates thanking us for our work in the school and the daycare and inviting us to return.
Nearby the plaza was a municipal park of sorts with a small river flowing through it. There were some man-made waterfalls and swimming spots that were taylor-made for relaxing and cooling down after a morning of work. A good portion of the group jumped in, clothes and all. Desmond purchased some gifts from the ever-present vendors with local crafts and other goods. Also ever-present stay dogs have me a good laugh when one walked away with a small bag of baked goods that one of the kids had purchased. I didn’t think it was worth being bitten to save the snacks (shocking I know).
After a damp ride home we had some free time before we headed out to a party/banquet in Izalco, another nearby town. Following dinner a local samba band (all drums) “serenaded” us and the kids danced to the rhythms – lots of fun. I’m pretty sure that I’ve heard quieter artillery salutes, but it really was very good even with my fingers in my ears. Alvaro and the ESNA crew presented us with prints of a group photo at Romero’s chapel and we celebrated Carolina’s birthday with cake and singing.
Afterward we hopped back onto the buses to Hotel Agape and most of us were in bed by 10 PM. Tomorrow is the last full day here and we’re headed to the beach near Metallo. I’m looking forward to being home, but a part of me will miss the heat and the people of this country.