Monday, March 31, 2014

Soyapango, or The Post In Which You Get To See Pictures Of Us

We had a great time in Soyapango, getting to catch up with friends from Pioneer School. We only got to spend three days there, which was way too short. But we'll be back in October for the Convention.

The friends we stayed with. We were like adopted kids while we were there, with a mom to take care of us. They were so sweet. I needed that.

Once again, the lake from the Awake. This time we got to go in it. 

Aw, look! It's us!

 After the meeting Saturday, a bunch of the friends loaded up in the truck and drove us around to see places and get pupusas! Me gusta pupusas.

Look! Here we are again!

While we were eating, these kids came up and started doing a whole "Drumline" thing, complete with fire tricks. 

One of the best things about Jehovah's organization is how you can instantly be friends with anyone anywhere, because you already have that one thing in common. We met so many people for the first time on this trip, and they were all wonderful.

And we're on the road again. This time there's a volcano.

We took a very wrong turn and ended up in California. Oops.

And that's the end of El Salvador. Next up, more horror stories from the borderlands.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Border Patrol Hates Me

We are finally home. We made it alive, just barely, with plenty of stories to last a few posts and then some. So, let's get to it.

This is the route we traveled. The first thing you should know is that Google Maps lies when it pretends to know how long a drive should take. The second is that you should not try to cross eleven (count them, 11) border patrol stations in two weeks unless you really hate yourself.

So Wednesday, we head out to San Salvador. Google Maps says this should take about 8 hours. What Google does not account for is the mechanic who puts water in the radiator instead of coolant and the layover on the side of a mountain road with no cell signal due to said radiator overheating. This means we get to the border at dusk, and the Honduran MigraciĆ³n office is not where Lonely Planet says it is. Thankfully, it moved to the actual border, instead of a town a few miles away. Honduras says "Sure, we'll let you out." El Salvador says "No, you can't come in." Uh, what?

Picture Break!
 This one is for you, Pam

 I like to think you can see Guatemala in this picture. 

And we're back.

So I believe I've written about this before. The CA-4 treaty/pact thingy between the 4 countries, the reason we had to go all the way to Costa Rica. Well, someone down the line isn't doing their job properly, which means El Salvador does not recognize extensions given by Honduras past the first 90 days. This is why several friends got turned away at the border on the way to the Convention last year. We were within our first 90 days, thanks to the trip to California in December. However- Honduras apparently forgot to stamp us out of the country then, and the US didn't stamp us at all. So it looked like we seriously exceeded our visa, and El Salvador was having none of that. Awesome. Thankfully, I rarely delete my email trash, so by some miracle I still had our boarding passes from that trip in there. Even after that, we got the third degree from them, but were *finally* allowed into the country. Little did we know, that was going to be one of the easier crossings. If this were a book, that would be called "foreshadowing".

San Salvador is a difficult place to navigate in the dark when you don't know where you are going. However, right down the street from our hotel was McDonald's and Denny's, so it's all good. (That's one thing I'll never get used to, in the States I really don't like fast food, but here we get so excited about it.)

Off to Soyapango to meet up with friends from Pioneer School!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Road Trip

Ok, we are actually doing a Visa run this week. Well, next three weeks. 4 countries, 2291 km (that's 1423 miles) and approximately 33 hours of fighting over the car radio. So, yes you will definitely get stories of border guards, traipsing (driving) through jungles and hopefully....volcano boarding! Might even throw in a picture of a Starbucks cup, but you already know what those look like. (Hey, it's novel to us)

But what you will not get is an update until April. Sorry. tide you over, some pictures. These are mostly overlapping panoramics of our favorite place to cool down.

See you in April!