Day 5

18 February 2009 Travel

Part 6 of El Salvador Trip Journal

6:48 PM

Today’s build was more cement mixing and laying blocks. It seemed pretty quick; the sun was really hot today so we were more tired than usual – I was glad when the bus came for sure. Gonzalez (pronounced Gonchalez) was really friendly today; we were talking about sports and popular music. At lunchtime, about 6 kids from the neighbourhood came to play with us… we brought soap bubbles and balloons and played with Nefri and his siter and their friends – it was a lot of fun, and we stayed for about an hour on the soccer field, playing with them and making conversation with the mother and older siblings. It’s really humbling to see how happy the mother was to see her kids having fun with the balloons. It’s the simplest things – a wave, a smile, that brings people together here.

Our trip encountered a second hiccup when we got back to the hotel. Upon entering the pool, Sheila slipped and hit her tailbone on the edge of the pool. I was coming down to head off to the market with Melissa, Susie, and Christina. I had my backpack, ready to go, and it was a good thing that I left the first aid kit in there from the build today. I took out the ice pack and gave it to Lindsay to crack open for Sheila. She couldn’t get it to break the seal, so she put it on the deck and told me to step on it. I did; nothing happened. Sheila told me: “Step on it harder, it won’t break!” So I gave it all my strength, and the bag of chemicals popped out of the ice pack and fell into the pool. We had a good laugh. But then I had to run upstairs to get Sheila’s kit. We got her out of the pool and put the new ice pack on her back. Well, that was fun. We decided to head off to the market before it got dark; the sun was low in the sky so we didn’t have much time. We ended up buying a bunch of bananas for $1 before having to go back.

We returned just before dinner; it turns out Sheila had really hurt her tailbone and is going to get an x-ray tonight. We’re not really sure what this means for our build, R&R, or going to the beach tomorrow, but we’ll find out whenever she gets back. José, the Habitat affiliate here, has arranged to pick her up soon. Lindsay is accompanying her; hopefully it won’t be anything major. We all really want to keep building these houses.

9:18 PM

Sheila and Lindsay are back. We just finished having a pow-wow in Sheila’s room, and everyone seems to be in pretty good spirits. She went to a doctor because the hospital was closed. (At least the x-ray part of it.) They gave her a shot and a pill, and the pain is starting to go away. Long story short, the worst case scenario is that we all have to go home ASAP on the next flight out. Sheila’s going for an x-ray in the morning. She’s still up for the beach, and we’ll be building as usual tomorrow (minus Sheila). The volcano climb is definitely out of the picture though, we’ll just be hanging out in San Salvador instead. But let’s cross our fingers for tomorrow and hope that Sheila’s alright!

Sam Nabi

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