We hit the city of San Salvador after an hour or so and encountered traffic driving patterns that I haven’t seen since my last strip to Rome except without the motorbikes that Romans call mosquitoes. Everything looks just a bit tired. The only things that looked shiny and new were the North American establishments that opened up shop there such as McDonalds, Mr. Donut, Papa John’s, and the like. The civil war there ended on 1992, a little over two decades ago, but they don’t look ready to let their collective guard down quite yet.
There are the few incredibly rich and everybody else. We never saw the incredibly rich but we stayed in what was called a “good part of town” for the everybody else. That meant at the head of the street there was a gate and man who minded it twenty four hours a day. He was incongruous with his broad smile and the shot gun that hung on his shoulder as permanently as some people wear a necklace.
Getting out of the car we chuckled at the plants that were growing there. Plants that we would pay a lot of money for back in the U.S. to have as house plants. A number of twelve foot ficas trees grew on the street (I can’t keep those things alive to save my life.) I’ve never seen them that large.
The houses are all jammed together – no side lawns. A wall guards each of the houses springing up from the edge of the sidewalk. Every house sports a twelve to fourteen foot wall with razor wire strung across the top and a steel gate.
Once inside it is discernible why the country might be reluctant in getting rid of its endless miles of razor wire. It is very common for buildings to have a center court open to the air onto which rooms are just open. In the U.S., we would have screens and lockable doors, a dog, maybe an alarm, but there is not so much as anything to keep a fly out. It is a beautiful feature but if I lived in a one story, flat roofed building that I couldn’t secure and I had just been through a war, I might want my razor wire too.
The afternoon was spent moving in and napping. I got a bed with Sharknado sheets and so was very happy. That evening would be our first visit to the orphanage.
TO BE CONTINUED