Girls’ Day Out

A sign that our girls are growing up: they are being invited to the quinceañeras (15th birthday parties) of their friends. Last weekend, we went to the party of a close friend, who has also participated in the quinceañeras of our girls. The girls got all dressed up:


Afterward we went out for coffee, looked at magazines, talked about movies and browsed the bookstore. It was a fun girls’ afternoon out!



August Vacation

During the first week of August, the entire country of El Salvador took a vacation. While many people headed to the beach or crowded the street right outside our doors on their way to La Puerta del Diablo, we tried to get out of the house yet away from the crowds (the best we could)!

We started off our fun week on Tuesday after school, taking cupcakes to Focus. Focus is a call center in San Salvador that fields calls for clients from around the world. Since the day we met them they have been a huge help and great friends. They’ve replaced several of our appliances and completed a number of projects for us around the house. Most recently, the agents at Focus raised money on our behalf. To say thank you, the kids walked around the call center, handing out cupcakes to the employees. Since Focus handles calls in three languages (English, Spanish and French), the cupcakes said “Thank You”, “Gracias” and “Merci”. E, our youngest, finished his long walk around the huge floor with an exasperated, “Huela!” Wow! 



On Thursday we continued with a picnic and scavenger hunt at Parque Balboa, just down the road. We split the kids into two teams, gave them a list of items and a camera to document each item they found. Both teams traipsed enthusiastically all over the park taking pictures, talking to people when necessary and hurrying to get done the fastest.


Once the teams finished, their photos were scrutinized for completion and validity. In the end, one team received a prize for best Photos, while the other team won for finishing the fastest.

On Friday we were invited by a friend to come swimming in the pool at her apartment complex. We had so much fun playing together with our friend and her sons. Mandy even brought along an underwater camera to experiment with in the pool!


On Saturday we went to a free musical called “His Life,” put on by a group of Korean-Americans visiting El Salvador. After that we headed to Parque Bicentenario in San Salvador for lunch and playtime. The older boys brought their bikes and the rest of us had fun climbing on the playgrounds and playing tag.


Sunday evening we celebrated T’s birthday. He seemed especially excited about a picture album he received from his special friend, Kelly.


Somewhere in the midst of all this activity, we also played hide-and-go-seek in the dark, had a fashion show, went out for pupusas, watched movies together and enjoyed some extra hours of sleep in the morning.


We concluded the week with a family dinner. Most of our kids went home to spend time with family for the week and we wanted to welcome them back in a special way. We pushed all the tables together, Rachel told everyone how wonderful it was to have them back, and then we enjoyed nachos with all the toppings. We even made brownies for dessert!


Tortilla Making

A few days ago, some of the kids were helping make tortillas for lunch. Tortillas are a Salvadoran staple and they are made with corn masa to be very thick. Our cook makes them by hand everyday for at least one meal, sometimes two!