Some Observations on My First Week…

Boy in the Market

I was making some photos today after getting my haircut and this little guy just wandered into the frame. A happy accident. Perhaps one of his parents is shopping here. Or perhaps, one of his parents works in the market and he is spending the day there.

Some observations from my first week:

-Chiva means cool
-Provecho is what you say to tell a person to enjoy his or her meal
-Buenas is the preferred greeting for someone with whom you’re even a little familiar.
-Buenas dias is the greeting for meeting new people

It is really hot from 11:00-4:00 but then it cools down and the night air is lovely. But we close our windows and door about 8:00 t0 keep out the mosquitos

Mosquitos – Not as big an issue as I thought it would be.

Unless you are home or working out, men wear long pants and solid shoes. I’d prefer shorts and sandals but am trying to fit in.

The two things the children are most surprised about:
1. Not all people in the US have children
2. The size of my feet – I still have yet to find a pair of flip flops (chanklas) in my size to wear around the house. I forgot to pack mine.

If the only lawn you have is the 3 foot space between the sidewalk and the curb, it is possible cut the grass with a machete. It is actually more like shaving the grass.

Most common question from the school children: “Como se dice en Ingles?” aka How do you say this in English? This is then followed by whatever term they want translated. This exercise can go on for a long time. I think it is time to introduce them to my Spanish-English dictionary.

Of note: It is possible that in the time it takes you to turn away from the class to write the word “grandmother” on the whiteboard and turn back, total pandemonium can break out. Write fast.

-People from the US may know that we minted lots of one dollar coins that are never widely used in the US. Where are they? In El Salvador. The country is on the dollar and those coins are used everywhere.
-Coffee in a bakery is $0.35
-Coffee and a pastry is about $0.85
-A haircut and a wash after is $2.00
-A common meal at a local informal eatery costs between $2.50 and $5.00
-Yogurt and breakfast cereal cost about the same as at home in the US.

People are more alike than they are different.

29 thoughts on “Some Observations on My First Week…

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you, my friend. Some are the same. Mango and avocado are much more popular here because they grow locally. But you would have a hard time finding fresh blueberries which are more common to my home. Cheers!

  1. Miss Gentileschi

    What a wonderful post, Chris!! The picture is fantastic!! Love your listings of what is different and what the same, and how you closed with stating that people are more alike than they are different! And I have to salute those little girls for bringing pandemonium on you so fast! 😉 That´s so typical: they look like little angels but can be sweet little devils, as well 😉 Hope you´ll get those flipflops sooner than later – I´d have no problem being as tiny as I am 😉 Looking forward to your next post!! Cheers!

    1. milfordstreet Post author

      Thank you. They are all angels really but are not always angelic. I tried to ask in a store in the Capital for flip flops and they did not have them in my size. Oh well. Cheers!

      1. Miss Gentileschi

        There´s a thing that could maybe work for you, I´ve seen it once done in Spain – they cut out pieces of old car tires and process them to flipflops by simply drilling 3 holes into them for the strings. They look fantastic, are extremely durable and the best thing is, that they can be made to fit your feet! Maybe you could find someone to give it a try?? Cheers!

  2. The Coastal Crone

    An excellent post! You are kind to share your observations with us as we learn along with you. I wondered where those one dollar coins went! I substituted in the classroom for a couple of years so I know it is dangerous to turn your back on a class! The little boy fit in perfectly with the market shot.

  3. Osyth

    People are people the world over …. it’s all in the effort we are prepared to make I think. From now on I will call you The Big Foot 😉


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