Monday, January 25, 2010

Week 7 in El Salvador

I am no longer a gringo...I changed now I’m Alaskenue. People are calling me it now, and for a laugh I correct them when they say gringo. Now at least they can’t cuss at me and yell gringo, they have no clue where Fairbanks is, so I tell them it’s a 15-minute ride from the North Pole.

Yeah, there are earthquakes. The storm caused huge rockslides before I came it. The quakes are small, like Alaska.

Ok, so my new companion is Elder Brandao, from panama. I am realizing how bad my last companion was. My old companion would yell at everything. Every time I would clean, or clean his mess, he would make another. I would study, and he would yell at me to study something different. Constant yelling. I personally had mapped out his face in my mind...where the best place to land a punch would be, but I couldn’t. Everything was constant anger and frustration. With Elder Brandao now, our investigators are opening up. They tell me they were scared of my last companion. Elder Brandao is awesome, the first day we actually cleaned the house, fixed it up, nice and spanky clean. No more toilet paper problem. He has developed a photographic memory, and I’m learning how he thinks. His thinking patterns are much more organized, and I’m learning how he does it. He knows thousands of scriptures, and everyone by name and face. Soon, he will know this area better than me, which is a good thing. He worked in tourism before he came here, so he knows how to be patient.

I just got the package from mom on Thursday--it takes 29 days. Thanks for the shirt, I love it. And the pillowcase...I need to find a pillow for it. The candy I gobbled up. And I got the memory.

As for my sickness: a member gave me a hunk of garlic to swallow, and some local medicine drink. I don’t know what it was, but I am perfectly healthy now. She says to repeat the garlic every week, so that I can adjust to the food. My stomach can handle their ice, and I can actually brush my teeth with their water now.

So, there are so many sister missionaries in El Salvador, that the president is sending others home early. Have you ever heard of that??

One joke----NBA basketball.... to the Latinos it means Negros Bastante Altos...or extremely tall black people. NBA.

I know I’ve told you a little about the buses, but sometime I should get a video. If they have a bad tire, which happens a lot, they will pull over to the side of the road, take the tire off, take the tire off the rim with a pry bar, and put a new tire onto an old rim, and take off again. These tires reach up to my waist, and they do it in a matter of 10 minutes depending how good they are. I think it’s awesome every time.

We went to a guy’s house the other day, and he had some coconuts. He took his three-foot machete in one hand and the coconuts in the other. Standing up (without a table), he cut perfect hole in the coconuts for us and we had our dinner. His skill is as cool as the guy that cleans fish in Valdez.

I got your package, and loved it. I love the pictures. Tell Jared to play hockey really good, his hair has to go down to his shoulders. I love the boat. Why do you taunt me with pictures of caramel?...just kidding, loved that picture too. One question..Is it at all possible to send peanut butter and honey?

Another thing. In his last area, my companion was robbed, he doesn’t have a way to get money, so I’ve been supporting both of us with my shuirch card. If this goes on, my supply wont be sufficient, so I might end up using my other cards. Just a heads up.

My old companion has been moved to the capital, and this is his last transfer. So thrilled. There will be good times, and there will be bad times. Thanks for the support.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Week 6 in El Salvador

18 January 2010

These people are great, but some hate me. And my last companion would get frustrated and yell at me a lot. He would say ¨don’t ask questions, you should just know this stuff. He knew everything though, and I was just learning, and he was always frustrated. I knew it would be tough, and I know it will be good for me, and I know it is helping to build me.

So, changes were today. I have to show the area to my new companion. He’s from Panama, and knows a little English, a couple words. Awesome.

Tuesday, Elder Gomez got sick. We went to the hospital for him, and the doctor took one look at him, and then he turned to me, and said I looked worse. On the bus ride over I had developed a body-wide rash, and my diarrhea had gotten worse, and I was pale with a fever.

A sugar cane truck crashed the other day. Those things are huge---semi-size. It was on its side, and they moved the cane to a different truck. I don’t know how they got it flipped around.

So, people here love Obama. The president of El Salvador, Mauricio runs on the same slogan---un cambio seguro--a sure change. They believe Obama has brought peace. It’s interesting to see it from this side.

Monday, January 11, 2010

my pictures with the cops, or the gang

My pictures with the cops, or the gang... I don't know the difference yet, but I'm starting to recognize the signs. Diezyocho (18 or XVIII) is the more dominant gang here, and they tag everything...with spraypaint, knifes, they have to claim their territory. That face isn't because I'm nervous, it's just the same day that I was able to buy some chocolate frosted flakes.

the Baraona parents

The Baraona parents. They semi take care of us here in Zacatecoluca, so I call them my parents of this area, because they've been good to us. A really funny family. 

Beer Bottle Caps

Those are beer bottle caps...outside a single house. I don't think I have to say much about the man living there. This is pretty regular. I just was lucky this time and got a picture before car tires squished all of them, and carried them everywhere. 

Week 5 in El Salvador

11 January 2010

I don’t have a lot to say this week to everyone, but I finally got my pictures.

Hey so I finally got my pictures with the cops, or the gang...don’t know the difference yet, but I’m starting to recognize the signs. Diezyocho (18 or XVIII ) is the more dominant gang here, and they tag everything...with spray paint, knifes, they have to claim their territory. That face isn’t because I’m nervous, it’s just the same day that I was able to buy some chocolate frosted fakes.

Tell Louis that main transportation is through buses and trucks. Yes there are motorcycles, but they are nothing to be proud of. I’ve never heard of any of the brands, but there are a couple of Yamahas roaming around. I actually saw my first Ford truck the other day, and the first Subaru as well; it’s very rare though.

Also that we use a computer library type thing. [referring to computers] We don’t have our own its a paid service to use machines that the dinosaurs were inventing. ---Louis was curious

So I saw something interesting. Hold your stomachs folks... lucky for you I didn’t take a photo. So, a bus hit a dog the other day at 80 mph. Personally I didn’t think these dogs could get uglier. Its brains flew out of its jaw. I didn’t know that was possible, but I guess I know now. Then a few days later, after it was nice and fermented and cooked onto the road, all the other dogs came and had a little afternoon supper. Oh yum, its probably because its better than the crumbs the people feed them.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Week 4 in El Salvador

Yes, my sense of humor is my way of coping for now. I can’t believe I’m missing Twin Bears.

So, I’ve been healthy for a week. The parasites finally finished construction on my gut. I’ve got a steel intestine now. The first couple weeks they just constructed a bypass route, and my insides were on rinse cycle for a while.

New Years was interesting: We just got to nap. Lots of explosions. Paper everywhere, because of the bombs. Lots of fireworks too. And drunks--nobody intelligent to talk to. The drunks are funny, especially when they try to rob you. They’ll stop you, hold you down, and ask for money. I gave him a dime, and he cheered up. He was like "hey man, sorry, but I just had to rob you...anyways how’s it goin? How’s life? Thanks for the money..." It’s the weirdest thing. A dime will buy them like ten more booze, and that’s all they want. Also for New Years, all the graffiti artists get carried away---they painted all the baby chickens bright pink. I loved it.

Sorry. My message will be short today. I have to hold up the monitor with one hand, and type with the other so it doesn’t turn off.

So something happened this week. I’m not sick. I’m beginning to like the food. It all tastes good now, except for the queso duro... which is like brick form of Parmesan cheese. And my Spanish clicked finally. I’m about as fluent as Alyssa is at English. Still, sometimes during meetings I won’t catch anything. A lot of communication is already knowing what is going on. And I’m clueless. I sit in meetings, just as bored as an oyster, but other than that my Spanish has taken a leap.

So my companion broke one member’s piggy bank on accident. We spent the day counting out 1600 dollars in dimes and nickels. I’ll have to send the picture.

I miss the cold.

So one more thing. I’m tired of naked people. It’s the norm. They breastfeed in public, during a discussion. One church member we always visit is sprawled out naked in her hammock every time we visit. Very different customs. I’m sure that when I return, nothing will surprise me.

Anyway. Hammock is a funny word. There are two words--hamoco...booger and hamaca...hammock. I said the first one in the sentence---I want to buy this booger.

Yeah. So start using my regular email too. I won’t check it as much as this, but things are getting deleted.

I’m glad you like the I can’t get pictures this week. This computer is too old. It’s going extinct, and if it doesn’t die on me now, it will for sure by the time I leave. I already broke the monitor stand, trying to fix it, and it’s now sitting at an angle. Oh, how I love computers. My favorite.

P-day is starting to be used as a way to recultivate my English. And play some soccer. Theses guys are good, but I can still almost keep up with them.

siempre estoy una problemita para me. I got a little dehydrated yesterday. I learned that I could chug three liters of orange Fanta at once. People were wondering what was wrong with my stomach, cause it was distended from all the liquid.

Contact information

Corey’s contact information:

Pouch services through SLC. Letters can only be single sheet, tri-folded and taped shut (no envelopes.)

Elder Corey Day

El Salvador San Salvador East Mission

POB 30150

Salt Lake City, UT 84130-0150


Mission address: If sending packages, Corey says it’s safer to put Christian stickers on the front:

Elder Corey Day

El Salvador San Salvador East Mission

Centro Comercial 105 Local #204

Paseo General Escalon #105 Ave.Sur

San Salvador, San Salvador

El Salvador

You can also write him through (it's free!)