Thursday, February 10, 2011

Trinity UPC & Friends El Salvador Delegation - Day 1

Trinity United & Southcentral Regional Partnership Delegation - Day 1
Travelling to El Salvador from Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Indianola are Margaret Blair, Betty and Maurice Dyer, Larry Lepper and myself, Denise Core. Also, joining us are two pastors exploring a partnership between multiple Presbyterian churches and a caserio of Berlin - Rev. Betty Sandy from Clifton Heights Presbyterian Church in Des Moines and Rev. Linda O'Connell from Lucas and Chariton First Presbyterian Churches.

Where to start... at the beginning of the day when we met at the airport for our 5:55 AM flight. Our pastor, Rev. Dave Endriss was there to send us off! Flights were uneventful and we even got breakfast on the flight from Houston to San Salvador.

We were traveling the streets of San Salvador by 1:15 PM after we were retrieved at the airport by our Presbytery's Mission co-worker Kathy Mahler, Alisha Lundberg, and driver Alfredo. Alisha, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, will be living at the Pastoral House for 10 months and teaching English in Berlin. She has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Iowa. And will be blogging about her experiences.

We dropped our luggage at the Los Pinos Guest House and change into our hot weather clothes since it was 90 + degrees (and 6 degrees below zero when we left Iowa). Our first stop was for history and scenery at Door of the Devil. A beautiful area named by the Spanish Catholics who opposed the religious practice of sacrifice rituals held in this area by the Mayan people. Then during the 1980's Civil War, the militia used it for massacres. Some of us hiked up uneven steps of stone to a high point where we could see the Pacific Ocean, Lake Ilopongo, San Vicente volcano, the village of Panchimalco and parts of the city.... through the haze. We had a wonderful treat of sipping fresh coconut milk direct from the shell, then had the shell split for us to enjoy the meat. Which is not as sweet and crisp as the ones we can get at home, but still tasty and quite refreshing!

After a short break at Los Pinos, we walked to a neighborhood restaurant El Sopo Tipico. We all had a variety of food that included pupusas, beans, rice, avocado, cheese, cilantro/tomato salsa AND a whole fish - way to go Maurice! Then we took a short walk to Pops for ice cream (in full view of Dunkin Donuts, China Wok, Burger King, and Wendy's)! It was a lovely evening for a walk and then a night's sleep with the five women in one room and one bathroom.

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