El Salvador Journal: Day 8
Wednesday, July 21 2010
Our last day in El Salvador was spent enjoying some well-earned rest. Shortly after breakfast, we loaded up on our bus and headed for San Salvador.
Aside from our daily visit to Texaco, our first stop was a local market where our students and leaders had the opportunity to load up on souvenirs for our families and friends. Splitting up into small groups, and after some quick and helpful tips from our hosts, we each did our best to negotiate prices for things like bracelets, drums, figurines, shirts, etc.
Our next stop was lunch and the mall. Needless to say, we couldn’t go to the mall without doing a couple of “freezes”. Escalators, stages, stairs: both shoppers and security seemed to enjoy the spectacle we made of ourselves, as we developed a small following.
The food court provided opportunities for those ready for familiar, American cuisine and others wanting one last taste of El Salvador, to find something to please their taste buds. Herbert doled out allowances for each of us to apply to our orders. After a quick bite, we continued to the last stop of our day of site-seeing.
We headed back in the direction of our campus to an archaeological dig. There, we saw ruins of a Mayan village that had been buried over time. While we waited for our turn to enter the museum, we passed time at a gift shop where more souvenirs were available for sale.
The museum gave a brief history of the dig and a snapshot of life before the village was lost. It also provided a stage for a “freeze”. We stopped and stared, as if mesmerized by the exhibits. When it was our turn to enter the dig, we filed past the decaying structures, showing varying degrees of interest. I guess bearing witness to history isn’t everyone’s idea of a fun time. I was captivated.
As we made our way to the bus, some of our team stopped to watch locals demonstrate a game played with the tops some bought at the souvenir stand. Several of our guys used this as one last opportunity to parade themselves past a bus of young Salvadoran school girls, in opportunistic exploitation of their uncommon, “Bieberesque” looks. Please note: if the prior sentence does not seem to drip with sarcasm, you were probably one of those guys.
We closed the night with a farewell service that was shared with a team from South Dakota. The evening began with the opportunity for our teams to give a final performance. It was fun to see the guys and girls throw themselves into their roles one last time. Afterwards, the Master’s Commission students performed a skit that gave a taste of local culture. We also received parting comments from the people we worked with during the week, and watched a video King’s Castle made for our team to remember their time in El Salvador.
After the service, we had a little time to take some pictures with our new friends, and say goodbye to those whom we would not see the next morning.
We’re a pretty sophisticated group, in case you couldn’t tell.
If you were there and remember details or any interesting stories I missed, please add your memories of our eighth day in the comments below. Thanks for reading and look for another post from my journal, tomorrow.