So every once in a while I have random ideas like "I want to learn to surf!" or "Let's climb to the highest point in Central America" or even "Let's make a reality TV show about Guatemalan volunteers!" And when I say these ideas out loud, other (very nice but rather innocent) people jump in "That sounds fun! I want to come!"
Hence why five of us were out on the water in El Tunco, El Salvador this past week, standing on boards as massive waves pushed us forward. Okay...the first day...the second day we found a better surf school and they had us out (albeit at seven in the morning) but for much calmer "learning" waves.
Surfing is fun. That being said: it is HARD WORK. After my first two days I took a break and it took me another three days before I got back up on a board and remembered that I actually LIKE it. I have so much respect now for people who can ride that stupid thing!
So as we only surfed in the morning and since laying out on the beach, running at dawn, eating fish tacos, swimming in the surf, climbing natural rock formations, and strolling down to wander through the water caves wasn't enough...we climbed in a pick-up with about 15 other people and rode who knows where to a field in the middle of nowhere for five bucks. There we followed two boys down a long and winding trail to a waterfall where people (not me...) jumped twenty feet off boulders into a bathtub. After that we hiked, crawled and let ourselves down on ropes into a canyon where we found three more waterfalls. Beautiful!
New Years itself was super fun (except I came down with a stupid head cold that day and ended up crashing at 11) but strange. NOTHING (including most restaurants: finally found a Belgian hostel that was open) was open until MIDNIGHT. That meant you waited in your hostel to go out at MIDNIGHT and then partied until dawn (which is probably why I fell asleep... needed something to keep me awake more than waiting!). Being the wild partier I am, I slept through the yelling, fireworks and music they apparently welcomed the new year with. My friends had a blast!
Last sunset of 2016
Latte from Dale! Dale!
Me trying to be creative: fail
One of the coolest things about speaking a little Spanish is just TALKING to people. I loved striking up a conversation with the woman selling empanadas from a tray on her head as she walked the beach, a local family sitting next to me, some Guatemalan musicians we went out to hear play one night...it's just so wonderful to be able to TALK to people!
I hope I can continue learning and speaking Spanish when I get home. This year has absolutely flown by. I spent a lot of New Years thinking about everything that's happened this past year and how drastically my life will once again change when I get home. I need to stay focused on trusting God. Sunrise to sunset to sunrise again ...He's gotten me this far. I'm sure the adventure is just beginning!