As often happens here, someone knew someone, who knew someone who is trying to launch a tourism business here. Antonio and Andres generally take people on camping, kayaking, rock climbing type of excursions, but yesterday they drove us and accompanied us up the volcano. Jill is in her 60's and Ann is in her 70's. We were all very grateful to have Antonio and Andres with us because we could not keep up the pace with the younger climbers. We felt safe with "our guys" and we climbed up and down at our pace. We were also accompanied by a police officer. Neither Antonio, Andres or the Police Officer broke a sweat, while the three of us worked hard to get up to the top of the volcano. I'm not sure what I expected, but I was surprised at how barren it is at the top. There is also a sulfur lake in the crater. When my family was here and my young cousins would ask the driver how much further, the answer was always about 20 minutes. I developed the same system with Andres. When I asked how much further, he always said 10 minutes.
As I was sweating and huffing up the volcano I thought about the idea that sometimes we know too much. When Andres told me it was 10 more minutes, I knew at times it wasn't true, but somehow 10 minutes seemed manageable. I certainly have learned over the past year that smaller goals are much more manageable, particularly when the situation seems completely overwhelming. When I first arrived in El Salvador, 16 months here seemed like an eternity. Next Saturday will mark my year anniversary. I think it would have been easier if I had thought about it in 3 month increments, rather than as a whole.
|Me, Jill and Ann - We made it to the top!|
|The crater with the sulfur lake|