On the Scene Reports
The 2010 St. Andrew El Salvador Mission
Arriving in El Salvador: April 5th, 2010

Despite several flight delays and what turned out to be a very short layover in LA we have made it to El Salvador.

Sunday night, as a result of the rains in San Francisco, our plane was delayed several times until finally it departed a few minutes after 10pm, more than three hours after we were originally supposed to take off. To say our connection in Los Angeles was tight would be an understatement. Basically what it boiled down to was if our plane from San Francisco landed before our plane to El Salvador was scheduled to take off, then they would hold the plane for us. If not, we were sunk. We were also basically told that those that checked luggage should not count on seeing it for a few days.

We made the plane and eventually to El Salvador. After getting through customs (above) we went to the baggage claim and were pleasantly surprised when all of the bags also arrived.

Once we arrived in El Salvador Guillermo Gonzalez, who had arrived a few days ahead of us, met us at the airport with a large van which took us halfway across the country to the city of Sonsonate and Hotel Agape.

Having spent the entire night on a plane we were all pretty hungry so after dropping our bags at the hotel we walked over to the restaurant for breakfast. Breakfasts, which were beans and fried bananas for some and pancakes for others, had one thing in common…lots of coffee. In El Salvador, they typically make the coffee in a large pot on the stove as opposed to a coffee maker, so as we ordered the second, third, and fourth rounds of coffees, we received a new cup, new spoon, and three new packs of sugar each time. We’re going to try and find a thermos to donate to the restaurant.

After breakfast we learned that our container with the soup and the playground had not yet arrived in AGAPE. After a few meetings and many phone calls, we discovered that the container was only 20 miles away in the port city of Acajutla waiting for us to submit a few documents before it could be released. Do to this unanticipated hiccup we are now hoping to receive the container on Thursday (sound familiar to anyone?).

While many of the team went to try to go get some sleep, Gary Stein hopped a ride with a friend over to the village to make sure that everything was ready for when the team arrives on Tuesday.

The plan for Tuesday is a 6:30am breakfast followed by a 7am departure from Agape. We will be in the village by 8am and then we can begin work to help prepare for the arrival of the container. In the afternoon we have an appointment with a local engineer regarding the pump that services the villages water system. After that we will tour the village and check up of some of the projects that we have worked on in the past.

Everyone is excited to be here and very excited to head to the village tomorrow.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to send them to [email protected]. Any comments you send will be shared with the whole team.

Thank you all for your support and we hope you enjoy following along with our journey.