Ameobas R Us

Trip Start May 07, 2003
Trip End Sep 05, 2005

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Flag of El Salvador  ,
Thursday, September 18, 2003

Finally left my *beloved* Tegus a couple of weekends ago and had the usual bus journey with screaming kids, puking adults and churning stomach. Arrived in the capital of El Salvador, San Salvador, safe and sound however. Checked into my homestay and went to ma bed, I was unable to stay in said sleeping apparatus for more than ten minutes however as it seemed my ass desired to be planted to the toilet. It became the longest night of my life. After waking up the half deaf 93 year old granny of the house with the constant explosions and reverberations echoing around the toilet bowl and the rest of the house, I decided it best to go and see the doc. After intensive examinations he told me I had an AMEOBA!!
"Oh" I exclaimed "can I keep it for a pet". "NO!" he bellowed, "weŽll have to exterminate the wee bastard or you'll lose your bowels!" And with that he charged me 40 bucks and sent me on my way with a shed load of drugs and some bog roll for a quick visit to the sh1tter on the way out!

Got much better the next day (the drugs DO work!), and I headed for my next volunteer placement in Santa Ana, a large city in the north. So I've spent the last two weeks teaching English every morning in "Maria Gorreti's Catholic School for Girls" (do u think the pope would approve!?). I've got 4 classes every morning teaching girls from 6 to 16 years old, 9 grades a week. Some damn hard graft ah`ll tell ye! I was ABSOLUTELY SHITTING MYSELF when I first started, but this week I've really got into it and am doing fine, having loads of fun and kinda teachin' them some English (Ahm nae sure if they kin git roon that Sco'ish accent rie enuf!). Think I might've become quite popular, especially seeing as I'm the first male teacher they've ever had! The girls even invited me to be part of their independance day march on Monday. Every kid and teacher from every school in the city (10,000 or so) takes part in a huge march across the city every year. And then there's lil 'ol me tramping along like the biggest spare prick next to them! To say I stood out like a sore thumb is the understatement of the century!! Yeah, that's another thing, there's no other westerners here whatsoever, so constant staring is also something I have become accustomed to! They're all very friendly though and often stop you on the street to ask you how yer doin - "aayee amigo! ?como estas?"

Every afternoon, I work at a different school "Angeles Delcalsos" (Barefoot Angels). This is a school for delinquents, problem kids and some of the less fortunate souls of the city. Some of them are orphans or street kids, many of them have been on drugs, in gangs or into prostitution. One kid was shot dead in the back of the head in the street last month for trying to leave a gang he was in. Another one was a crack addict at the age of 5, and we're pretty sure some of the girls are being sexually abused. One incident even happened at the school, when we were there. We try to teach them English and IŽve been showing them how to use the clapped out computers but mainly we just play around with them, as there's no way to control the wee tearaways! They love footie, rounders and generally being thrown about the place having fun. They're all just innocent young lives, that were born into the wrong place when it comes down to it.

I'm liking El Salvador very much, it's a beautiful wild country, covered in towering volcanoes and surrounded by wild beaches, some of the best surfing in the world - loads to do at the weekends. And as I said before, we seem to be the only westerners here, so "tourist spots" are never busy. The families and local folk working on the projects have to be the warmest, most welcoming people since Mexico. And the kids at the schools... it will be hard not to get attached to some of them I feel. It's hard to beleive that this country suffered over ten years of brutal civil war

Hurricane Mitch

then the biggest earth quake in it's history, 100,000's lives lost, all in the last ten years or so; yet still it seems better off than it's neighbours.

I also have become a fan of the local footie team "FAS", the current champions of El Salvador (13 times), whose stadium is 2 mins up the road from ma hoose. Every game, much like an Old Firm match, with bottles getting thrown at the ref, red cards galore, a few goals, plus various firebombs and rockets getting set off from the crowd!
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