Every morning, for the last two weeks, I’ve been waking up at 6 am. Every morning, my cousin asks me WHY? When you could sleep longer and I only wish I could stay in bed. She’s probably right, I am on vacation, I don’t really need to wake up so early, but I simply do. I can’t seem to sleep pass 6 am and I don’t see the point in laying in bed for no particular reason. The heat is not a reason as I have air con in my room. I guess, I’ve always been an early riser.
I landed in San Salvador on June 10th. I had just finished my last seminar. It’s been a hectic last few months. I woke up one morning to realize, half the year was gone already. When I look back, I see how the usual happened: travelling! I was in Bulgaria in January, Greece, Spain and France in February, Canada in March, El Salvador in June. Guess, there is no denying it, I like moving. So I was saying, I landed in San Salvador, as soon as you get off the plane, you feel the heat hit you. As I am waiting to pass immigration, I see there are lots of people taking pictures of the girl in front of me. I tell her: I don’t know who you are, but many people are taking your picture. She then asks me where I am from, Canada, I reply. Ah ok, like that answers all the questions. Turns out, she won Miss Universe in the States, to be honest, other than being really tall for a Salvadoran; she didn’t really look particularly nice, not for Miss Universe standards anyways. My mom was disappointed that I didn’t take a picture with her, I didn’t know nor care who she was. She was playing the part thought, she was nice to everyone taking pictures and doing small talk.
So back to my roots, I haven’t been here in five long years. I see the country has changed for the best. There is less garbage lying around, looks cleaner. Roads have been built; I hardly recognize my father’s village. How beautiful it looks now. To say, it used to take six hours to get there by bus, you are now looking at 2 hours bus ride. I think it’s safer than it used to be. I don’t feel the danger although the crime rate is still high from my standard point of view. Upon my arrival, I got my birth certificate from the registration office. With that paper, I was able to get my I.D card and later my passport. So I am now full citizen of El Salvador. Do I feel any different? Not really. I will always be Quebecoise / Canadian, the passport doesn’t mean anything to me. Maybe, if I was to live here, I would feel differently, who knows. I’m happy to see my family, spend lots of time with them; however, I don’t feel any different than any other country I’ve traveling on vacation.
This morning as I am spending some quality time with my cousin, she slips in the conversation to beware of scorpions as they usually tend to come out this time of year. It’s 6h30 and here I am being told that scorpions come in the house. I guess, I should feel lucky, I haven’t seen any scorpions or cockroaches here. I saw some mega ones last week. To say, I used to be scared of the little ones in Bulgaria! I like it here, but I wouldn’t be able to live here full time. The heat, the bugs and the pollution would annoy me. One moment, you’re in the car with the windows down, the next you have a bus in front of you throwing their black smoke which is coming out of their exhaust. Not even talking about the zillions mosquitos that love bitting me every day.
I’m glad I came as I feel more relax. First thing I did when I arrived was to take off my watch. I haven’t looked back. I am lucky to have such a wonderful family. They’ve all be so nice with me. I am very different from them, but we still manage to share a lot of laughter. I make them laugh with my directness, some things never change. It was my birthday last thursday, my cousin had bought a cake and they sang Happy Birthday for me. I will cherish this memory for a long time. I am going to visit an orphenage later, I am thinking of adopting a Salvadoran kid. For now, I am just in the thinking process, I figured I might as well go check it out while I am here.
I’ve booked myself in a very nice resort in the mountains where I will spend the final days of my vacations. Maybe, I will find the guts to climb the highest peak in El Salvador since I didn’t climb the volcano here in San Miguel. I am looking forward to some alone time to reflect of this past year and what lays ahead for the future.
Miss Carol Lizeth Lopez Evora (my new name according to my Salvadoran identity)