We have returned stateside, safe and sound. There’s not a lot to tell about this final day of the journey, but here’s a little peak into how we traveled home and how I felt being back in the US after nine amazing days in El Salvador.
“Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory”
We awoke in the 3:00am hour, most of us having taken time to pack and shower the night before. With so many new gifts, repacking became a little adventure unto itself. Many of us brought extra bags or split up luggage with others who had extra room. Tim got clever and put his gifts in his suitcase and his clothes in a garbage bag (he had sneaking suspicions the flight attendant who give him a flippant look when he brought it on the plane may have put a hole in it on purpose but we’ll never know…). I ended up leaving two small bags of laundry with Cristina as a donation to make room for the gifts I purchased and am hopeful my clothes will come in handy for someone.
There was a little drama, too, in that the second van didn’t arrive to take our luggage. Our guest house hostess, Betty, volunteered to drive her pick-up truck for us, though. Somehow, we heaved all of our luggage aboard and headed out to the airport. Sara and I had a fulfilling conversation about married life and what it’s going to be like back home on our drive and we have solidified a powerful friendship we wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for this trip. For all of the powerful experiences the group has had, it is the lasting friendships which will hold those memories dear and our hearts accountable upon our return to privileged life in the US.
The redundancy of security checkpoints in San Salvador was frustrating, in that we had to show our passports to check in, then to enter security, then to enter the waiting lounge. Oh, and if you wanted to leave the lounge to see the mural down the hall depicting Romero with children – the mural President Funes stood in front of at the unveiling, asking for forgiveness on behalf of the Salvadorian government for the killing of Romero – then you had to stand in line and once again show your passport. It didn’t help that it was early and (I can’t speak for anyone else) I was grumpy, I suppose. Thankfully, the mural itself took away much of my stress and it’s photo-realism style really captivated me.