Since I’ve started this blog all the things I’ve written have pretty much lined up with a timeline that coincides with my Scrap book of memories. However I’m compelled to tell you a story that just recently happened to me. And since that is the case I don’t think I can wait a year to tell you of this unexpected “survivor” trip. So let’s begin.

This story began long before I even existed, 28 years to be exact. My mom was 16 at the time and was determined to leave her little village known as the Deserted Town. If I’m not mistaken I believe she was around her early teens when my grandmother gave her a little baby chick which she grew and was able to make money off of by selling the chicken’s eggs. With that money she would buy other materials like dairy products and corn; she would then make food out of that, sell it, and profit off of it. After years of hard work and what I would call true hustle she finally gathered up enough money to make the trip and come to America. And I think on her behalf that was a huge move! I’m not just saying that because she’s my mother and she is the strongest most confident woman I know. But for a 16 year old girl to go to another country completely on her own not knowing the language whatsoever and not knowing what to expect that takes courage!

Picture of my mom

(To the upper left that’s my mom, and that cute little girl with the awkward smile is me 😊)

From the stories my mom had told me I kind of already knew that she had been brought up in a poor environment. However up until a week ago I had no idea the kind of life she lived or what she really had to go through on a day to day basis.

So around March we got word that my grandfather was very ill and that he probably wouldn’t make it that long. At that moment my mom and I started to work on all the paperwork in order for us to go and see her family. And boy was that a mission on its own. We went through so much obstacles in order to get the paperwork approved that by the time everything was set and ready 8 months had pass by and at this point my grandmother was also very ill. So once we got the letter saying that we were good to go we immediately let our employers know. And you won’t believe the response I got. I for one was not going to let my mother travel on her own especially in a moment that both of her parents were ill. On top of that she had told me that she wanted me to go with her for two reasons. One, she wanted me to visit her childhood village. And two she was scared to go by herself. I don’t know about you but my mom and I have been through so much together; so when the strongest woman I know says that she’s scared there’s no way I can’t be by her side. From the moment we started working on the paperwork back in March I let my employers know that there would be an unexpected trip that I would have to take no matter what. But I was letting them know in advance that I was going to be leaving due to a few family dynamics that involve emergent attention. The moment came that I had to tell them “hey my mom and I got the approval to go so I will be leaving Friday” and the response from my employers left me in complete shock. If you had read my first post you know that I am an ICU nurse. So my job is constantly requiring me to be compassionate and empathetic towards families that are losing their love ones. For sure I thought my employers would understand why I needed to leave with such urgency since both of my grandparents were very ill last time we had heard from them and on top of that they’re both in their 90’s so my mom and I really didn’t know how much longer they would have left. To my disappointment my employers couldn’t see past that and denied me those days off that I needed. I’m not going to lie I was a very upset one because I never call out of work, I have plenty of vacation time, and I try to do my job very well so for them to tell me no when I clearly had an emergency put me in a tense mood. I talked to my mom about it and I came to the decision that I was going to put my foot down. I told my manager that I was going to be leaving and would be coming back the following week. There was some concern that I could very well lose my job but I couldn’t wait my grandparents needed my mom and my mom needed me. But then something happened; I was so fortunate to have my assistant manager come to my defense and was able to get those days off.

So we were off ✈️! My mom and I pretty much had only a few days to pack everything buy our tickets and go. This was probably the most nerve wrecking trip for both my mom and I. I think neither of us really knew what we had gotten ourselves into. After about a three hour flight and 5 hour drive to the village my mom had the most beautiful encounter with her family. An encounter that she never thought would ever happen again but here we were 28 years later and she was back home.

El Despoblado, El Salvador. Family reunited This was my first time visiting the Deserted Village and to say the least I was shocked. Like I said I knew my mom grew up poor but I had no idea she lived in the middle of the mountains in the middle of nowhere. On our way to the village we stopped by to get some food; food that we had to eat with our hands there were no utensils whatsoever and barely any napkins. When we finally arrived to my grandmothers house we were greeted by the sounds of roosters, dogs, cats, and horses galloping. Little did I know that this was going to be the noise I heard throughout the entire night every night for the next week. My mom and I shared a bed which had no mattress and the pillows were made out of towels. Throughout the night we had to watch out for the scorpions that would pop up every once in a while. I had never been so eager to wake up at 3 AM to start my day. The first few days I toughen up and took what I would considered to be the coldest showers of my life. But we couldn’t take it anymore so my mom and I decided to heat up water in order to take some warm showers. There was no indoor plumbing so I definitely did not use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Oh and when it came to food it was such a process. I can’t forget it! I had to kill my first chicken in order to eat lunch. I guess my mom and I can add that to our book of memories together lol. After a few hours of going through the entire process lunch was finally served. By the end of our trip I was an expert at surviving. The town had pretty much no waste management system so the way that we got rid of our trash was burning it which I’m pretty sure is not all that great for the environment. But don’t you worry I’m working on a plan to try to fix that. And since we were in the Deserted Village there was barely any public transportation. If the next town was close enough we would walk it if not we would have to hitch a ride on a farmer’s truck that carried cows, pigs, and chickens. So for like a good hour we’d just stand in poop and hold on to dear life. But hey we made it 😊.

Other than those small almost insignificant obstacles, life in the village was actually very nice. The nature aspect of it was beautiful very calming and quiet (atleast when the roosters were sleeping).

House in the mountains. El SalvadorWalk around the villageMountains in El Salvador El Salvador roadsEl Despoblado riverMom petting goat in El Despoblado, El Salvador I fell in love with hammocks and for once I really didn’t think of much problems. Overall it was a very humbling experience it made me appreciate what I have and not take it for granted whatsoever. In all honesty life is a very beautiful thing. You just have to put the materialistic things aside and cherish the moments you have with your family; cherish the laughs that you enjoy with your friends. Open your heart to loving how lucky you truly are. And when you’re able to do that life opens up and just like that it seems to be a whole lot better. This trip made me realize that life does not happen to you it happens for you. Since that’s the case you have no other choice but to enjoy it, live it, and spread as much love as you canβ€οΈπŸ€™πŸ».

1 Comment

Janice Gill · December 8, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Pinned to share for you, lovely pics.

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