Adventure in Cowboy Country

The 150 year old church at the town square.
   All the expats and missionaries will agree that pretty much every day, outside of the US,  is an adventure of some sort.  Once you start getting use to the culture and way of life those things start to become normal.  However, there are some things that happen that continues to remind me that I do live in another country.  Sunday Ruben and I left after worship service to travel to an evangelistic youth event in a little pueblo in the area of the country called Chalatenango. This little pueblo is about two and half hours away through bumpy, winding roads.  The reason for going was because the Pastor had set up a city wide event with the mayor's office.  The city government planned to have a youth event to warn and instruct the people since they are starting to have problems with gang members, from another town, coming and recruiting young boys into their gangs.  The church and local government are working together to try to prevent this problem from escalating.  The event was an evangelical outreach to the entire parish.  Ruben was the MC, and they invited a guy who does beat box, a singer, and an evangelist.   We were simply going to do the event and drive back home afterwards.  Halfway there Ruben tried to avoid a huge pot-hole in the road only to hit another one.  There was a loud noise and we thought the tire had a blowout.  It was no blowout; but three of the four bolts on the rim had flown off and the tire almost came off the car.  Praise God that didn't happen but the damage was done and we couldn't continue on.  All the others who were going to the same event were in another car, not to far ahead, waiting for us.  So when we called them and they came back to help.  We happened to be in a little area that had many shop's but on a Sunday, in the country and in El Salvador they were not open.  Ruben drove the car a short ways when we looked to our left, one car shop happened to be open but no mechanic.  The guys looked at the car and took off the tire and the verdict was that nothing could be done until the following morning.  The Pastor of the church was in the other car so we all talked it over and decided that regardless we will go to the event and afterwards figure out what to do.  The problem was that Thrazo, the beat boxer, and I both had work the next morning.  The pastor called the mayors office and they sent a vehicle for us. They picked us up and took us to the event and right on time.  I call this area, Chalatenango, cowboy country because as soon as you are in this department you see cowboys everywhere, which reminds me of Texas.  The town is very colonial and the main square had a rodeo ring.  In fact, that is where the event was held.  After this event, we decided we would stay the night and Thrazo would catch a ride with the guy who came to sing.  I talked to the school where I help out and let them know I wouldn't be able to make it and they were completely understanding.  So we stayed in the mayor's guest house which was really neat. I felt like I stepped back in time. It was an enjoyable little stay, the only negative was that we weren't prepared to stay, so we had nothing; no toothbrushes, no deodorant, extra clothes, ect.  And being we were in a small country town there wasn't even a pharmacy, which they usually have everywhere, to buy any toiletries.  So needless to say, the next day we were ripe. We had a delicious breakfast and I drank fresh cow milk, boiled, and with cinnamon.  It was delicious.  After breakfast, they took us back to where we left the car.  The good news was the mechanic was there, the bad news was trying to get the parts needed to fix the car.  It was finally decided that one of our friends, in San Salvador, would buy the parts and bring them to us.  So we eventually got back home that afternoon.  As we were laying on the concrete floor waiting for the car to be fixed, because there wasn't any kind of waiting area, Ruben tells me, "I'm so glad I'm married to you.  It makes these kinds of things more fun."  It was fun, even though at times annoying.  But we had a great time hanging out and getting to know people and making new friends.  Lesson of the day; always, always be prepared for an overnight stay.

Ruben and Thrazo giving away soccer balls and t-shirts.

The town rodeo arena where the event was held.

Beautiful sunset.

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