The Adventures of a Slug and a Gringa in El Salvador

Wet. Cold. Slimy. Thick. 

It’s a slug. 
I am poking a giant slug under my desk. 
I poked it thinking a strange-looking leaf blew in from the storm last night. 
Last night I could hear a bat crashing into my mosquito net, dogs fighting in the street, waves of rain falling on my roof, and loud cracks of thunder every couple of hours when the lightning flashes woke me up. In the morning, a pile of leaves weighed down the top of my mosquito net. 
A few weeks ago I might have screamed, realizing the extra-strange-leaf was actually a giant slug sitting under my copy of “The Grapes of Wrath” 
Now I nonchalantly walk away to my cold, outdoor, 6 a.m. bucket bath. 
El Salvador is turning me into a new gringa. IMG_3160
For example, when I came here, I probably would have been shocked to find out that my living allowance is $2.50 a day. 
When I told my friend this in the States, he told me he makes $2.50 in six minutes at his fancy summer internship. In the campo of El Salvador, the average worker makes about $5 a day for a full day’s work. With $2.50 a day, I am basically loaded. 
Also, when I came here, I thought I was a pretty good cook for a recent college grad, at least compared to my roommates, who only cook using the microwave (no offense, Jacquie… although you do make amazing garlic bread with your microwave).
Here, I know nothing about cooking. 
Whenever I try cooking pupusas or kneading maza into tortillas, the women think its the funniest thing they have seen. For example, when I tried grinding lorocos for pupusas, my host mother thought it was so funny she called over her grandmother to watch. 
Also, I learned that my feet are the biggest female feet in the world. IMG_3208
Yesterday, I did an activity called “Un Dia en La Vida”. For the entire day I followed the Promotora de Salud (who is a total badass by the way but that’s a different blog post) from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Whatever she did, I had to do. 
After asking my name and making a bit of small talk, she asked me how big my feet were. 

I am accepting that this is just going to be a thing I have to deal with here. 
I can’t imagine the gringa I will be after two years of living here. 

One thought on “The Adventures of a Slug and a Gringa in El Salvador

  1. Julie, you may have the biggest feet, but when I was in my village in Columbia, I was the tallest person in the entire country side. I lived in a convent with a bunch of nuns, they all got sore necks looking up at me, so they got in the habit of jumping up on benches to talk with me. All the men came to the height of my breasts, very uncomfortable to say the least. I think you are awesome, keep going you fabulous gringa! Phyllis

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