We Love Weekends!
There is a lot of activity at the hotel this weekend – political leaders are providing training and information sessions here to get ready for the 2012 elections. We can hear speeches and see cardboard voting booths. Knowing that the whole voting process can be intimidating, especially for rural people, this seems like a good idea. Of course we also wonder if people are being taught how to register and vote, or WHOM they should vote for.
A van and driver appeared at 10:00 and we were off to Alegria, a beautiful old town on a nearby volcano. The price yesterday was $45, but then that driver couldn’t do it so a substitute would take us for $55; then last night that driver couldn’t do it either but another substitute would take us for $60. We wondered what the cost actually would be when the van arrived, but it was still $60 – and he was worth every penny. Roads are dangerous and traffic is crazy, but our Carlos did well. Besides he gave a running commentary about everything. Volunteer Karen speaks Spanish well, so what I couldn’t understand, she filled in.
We went to Alegria through the town of Santiago de Maria where our bilingual instructor lives. After Volunteer Cindy did some quick shopping at an artesenia we had a huge lunch of fish upstairs at a little restaurant that has a gorgeous view of the valley below. We spent a little time at the crater lake which is bright green – strange but beautiful. We’re told it’s called "La Esmeralda de America."
Along the way back a different way we saw families sitting on the roadside with burlap bags of coffee they had picked, waiting for a truck to take them and their bags to a collection point. Near Berlin we saw huge pipes (maybe 24” diameter) that collect 300-degree steam from underground, and geothermal plants that provide nearly ¼ of El Salvador’s electricity needs. This is a German operation. If you’re interested in more info, here is the link: [url]http://www.monstersandcritics.com/science/features/article_1601376.php[/url]
We got back just before dark – perfect timing. This was a great day for us.