I'm doing some good reading, playing soccer every weekend, re-lacing
some rebar chairs, and learning how to play "chucho," a local
card game. I'm also hanging out with various local characters, learning
how to adequately sharpen my machete. I'm adjusting to Mass and the
Stations of the Cross being always amplified to three times the volume
necessary to do permanent damage to your eardrums.
I continue to find great solace and stability in the beautiful daily
spectacle of the sun rising near the San Miguel Volcano. The hour from
6 to 7 a.m. is a time I reserve jealously for reflection and morning
prayer. The day seems to get started on an even keel that way.
I go to the Stations of the Cross every Friday. It's a traditional
Catholic devotion of solidarity with Christ, a "parade" through
the community that focuses on 14 stations of his life from condemnation
It is a two-hour hike from one end of the community to the other. The
singing and music are well amplified by a speaker, amplifier, and battery
on a bike. Everyone is very proud of the new speaker and amplifier.
In order to reflect, I find myself constantly fleeing forward so as
not to end up behind the bike, with the speaker pointed right at me.
I mentioned this to a friend in a recent e-mail, and she suggested
that I have been known to be "overamplified," perhaps even
loud, myself. So I guess this is poetic justice. In any case, the walk
and prayer is a spiritual, social and dusty event here every week.
Every time I stop to think about the Peace Corps, I'm amazed at this
opportunity and experience. I am a lucky guy. El Salvador is an amazing
country filled with amazing people, and I get to be part of it. Actually,
I think one would find that every country is an amazing place filled
with amazing people. God has blessed me so thoroughly and with such
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