Tuesday, August 05, 2008

?Ya se acostumbro aqui? (Are you used to this yet?)

Lately it feels like everyone's favorite question is "Ya se acostumbro aqui?" or Are you used to this yet? A question which could be asked a thousand times with a thousand different answers. I wonder, so after almost two yars in rural El Salvador what exactly have I gotten used to by now?

Things to which I am not...and after almost two years might not ever be "acostumbrado":

1. Sweating while sitting still.

2. The puddle in my house every time it rains.

3. Maggots in the bean soup.

4. Teachers walking out and socializing during class.

5. Families of 10 living on $3 a day.

6. Watching men drink themselves disabled.

7. Having pregnancy, particularly teen pregnancy referred to as a "problema de mujeres"

8. The bus driver taking a lunch break half-way home

9. Two flavors: sweet and salty.

10. Being referred to with the following terms: mamacita, gringita, munecita, preciosa.

11. Having a bolo explain the has the right to hit on me because, "Yo hombre, Usted mujer."

12. Having a mother with 2 fabulous kids ask the following question:
Her: "Is it true that you can't punish your own children in the US? that they check kids for
Me:"Marks? Isn't leaving marks extreme enough to warrant intervention?"
Her: "Well, kids have delicate skin, sometimes just one cinchazo (belt whip) can leave a bruise."

13. The time it takes to cook and clean and wash. The fact that men never help.

14. The massive school band learning to play the drums and trumpet in the tiny courtyard.

15. Being so far away.


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