June 23, 2022 – First full day at the Pastoral House

As we knew, we were awake by 6 a.m.  Cecilia was already up and puttering around; putting dishes away, starting to cook everyone’s breakfast of beans, toasted tamales and fried platanos (plantains).  There is always fresh French bread and this morning we also had ‘novias’ – a small of roll with some granulated sugar on top.  The top is almost crusty. One of my favorites!

Blanca, Idalia, Alejandro, and Elmer arrived about 7 a.m. from their community of Alejandria.  We chatted and enjoyed our breakfast.  The conversation was mostly casual with the occasional update about something more important.  I took a few notes to be able to inform via emails a bit later.

A couple of plans are mentioned: a visit to Cerna and possibly the committee in Tablón Centro.  A visit with the women’s group in Jicaro (not certain if we are going there or some of them are coming here).  A visit to Alejandria to say hello to “my” families down there!  

Then we had a surprise!  They said we would go the lagoon in Alegria!  I haven’t been there for years.  For quite a while it was deemed a bit dangerous so we stopped taking groups up there.  But it is becoming more touristy.  The areas around Berlín are trying to become a destination place.  There have been lots of changes to make the area more attractive! 

So we hopped in the KIA and off we went.  The drive is quite stunning.  There is new construction at the turn off from the main road.  They say it will be a couple of restaurants.  There is now an admission to enter the lagoon area:  $1.00 per person plus $1 for the vehicle.  The water level was really low and we were able to walk quite a ways around the lagoon.  We strolled and enjoyed the cool breezes at that altitude.  We spent about 45 minutes exploring.  I managed to get my sandal stuck in some goopy mud.  It was easy to wash off in the cleaner water of the lagoon.  It was a lovely morning.

When we got back to the house, Blanca and Cecilia and Alejandro had to go to run an errand in anticipation of the delegation arriving.

Mike and I stayed back.  I did some ledger book spreadsheet updating for two of our partner churches.  I did a couple more emails.  We had an amazing lunch: I had ‘pescado frito’ (a whole fried fish), rice and salad and a just-off-the-griddle tortilla made by Idalia.  Mike doesn’t like fish so the ladies made him a green bean relleno.  It’s like a chile relleno but instead of a poblano chile, they use green beans!  It is quite yummy!  He also had rice and beans.

When everyone was back from the bank, we chatted some more and then came another surprise!  They wanted to show us the ‘Mirador ’ in San Lorenzo built and owned by a friend of ours.  It is a place with a beautiful over-look.  I had seen pictures on Facebook but it is way cooler in person!  Our friend Elmer R. was there and he was the perfect host!  He said it took him about a year to construct.  He and two others own the land and the site.  On a clear day, you can see the airport from there!  That is about 70 miles away as the crow flies!  And you can see the ocean, Jiquilisco bay, San Vicente, Usulután, and all the way to La Union.  Amazing.  Sadly, we had clouds.  But Elmer R. showed us some of his photos and sure enough, most of those things were recognizable to me!  The camera on his phone is really good!

Only Cecilia and Elmer C. took us to the Mirador y Restaurante Paradise..  The rest of the Team were going to head home.  Tomorrow would be another day!

So now it is evening and very quiet. I’m hearing a huge variety of night noises – bugs, birds, dogs, the occasional squealing piggie.  And of course, all the street noises. The whole house is open – no screens on doors or windows here, so we hear everything really well.  I’m enjoying this time to write. 

Enjoy the pictures!

A little breezy.

Exploring La Laguna de Alegria

Muddy sandal

Elmer, our driver for the morning, being a bit silly!

Cecilia taking a little break.

Mike and me at Mirador Paradise

Cecilia and Elmer R (one of the owners and a good friend) having a chat

Such an angel hahaha

Elmer being silly again

Beautiful wood work

Incredible views

A delicious lunch at the Pastoral House

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