Monday, May 23, 2016

Cross-cultural encounters.

I write this blog in English because my intended audience speaks that language.   While I am honored to have many Salvadoran readers, my intended audience are those English-speakers outside of El Salvador who have some connection to the country. through travel, or marriage, or a sister church, or a Habitat for Humanity project.   I try to be one source, hopefully trustworthy, of information about Salvadoran current events.

But a blog entry can't possibly convey the full reality.   That requires being there.    That requires encountering El Salvador in its people.  

Two bloggers who recently wrote about such encounters are Linda and Vida.   Linda writes Linda's El Salvador Blog and recently told the story of the The Woman in the Red Dress:


A couple of grandmothers from the community were with us under the tent.  They shared a little information with us about the Woman in the Red Dress.  She had walked all morning to get to the fair.  Many grandmothers in rural areas walk long distances to find company, to go to church, to gather fuel, to get water.  She lives alone.  Many grandmothers live alone.  She does not always have enough to eat.  Many elderly people struggle with hunger.   
The Woman in the Red Dress is a hero.  She is beautiful inside and out.  I don't remember her name, but I remember her spirit, her spunk, her eyes, her smile, and that red dress. 
"You look so beautiful in your red dress," I said.  "May I take your picture?"
Read the rest here and explore Linda's blog where there are many other portraits of everyday people she encounters in El Salvador.

Vida wrote of a Salvadoran boy in Dignity and Dreams at La Palma:
I almost didn’t see him. I was on a mission to bring home some souvenirs and my field of vision was saturated with color—the cheery red, blue, green and yellows of the handpainted wood crafts—jewelry boxes, dollhouse furniture, and crosses filling every nook and cranny and wall of the small kiosk. And then out of the corner of my eye, I noticed him. A young boy about 10 years old sitting at a small table to one side, an artist’s paintbrush in one hand and a carved plain wood letter of the alphabet in the other waiting for the young artist to transform it from naked wood to a playful folk art piece.
Read the rest here.

I hope you will have your own opportunity to encounter El Salvador through its people, and not just through the virtual lens of our blogs.


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