Archive | April, 2012

Surfing

22 Apr

Elijah and Sharla are a new couple who just arrived to stay here 18 months.  Nestor, Anna (an intern for 3 months) and Richard’s family were all at the house, so i stayed at a hostel for the first 3 nights.  This house they rented for the week looks like something out of a rap video.  Pool overlooking the ocean, up high on a hill so it has a great view.  Jen made a menu for the week and they had amazing meals for us all week.   Well, Elijah was pumped about trying to surf, and Anna also was up for it.  I had gave Anna her first surf lesson the weekend before.  Anna is a pretty natural athlete, at Salsa class the instructor said she went from beginner to intermediate in an hour.  So, with me holding the board and pushing it for her, she was able to get to her feet a few times.  Well, her and Elijah took my recommendation and hired a local surf guide for $10.  Elijah wasn’t doing to well, which was surprising because he does slack lining-like walking a tight rope but loose, and the instructor who is ripped like a body builder looks at me and says, he’s just too big. (Elijah is 6’7 1/2″)  Actually the people were laughing when they saw him with this 9.5 foot board, saying it was too small for him.  Anyhow, he went from struggling to catching his own waves without the instructor holding the board.  The rip current was ridiculous this day also, with it being such a strong sideways current that i couldn’t even hold the board for my friend Hiroko.  The board would turn sideways with her on it.  Elijah told me my surf lesson and tips were much more helpful than his instructor’s.  “Ju jump to center of board.”  “Ju not in center man, that’s why ju fall”  is what Elijah claims his lesson consisted of.

Well Elijah started catching waves on his own, which was pretty shocking considering how much he struggled at the beginning, since he is just so big.  However, he does slack lining (like walking a tight rope, except its not tight), and long boarding (like skateboarding) and is a strong swimmer so he started catching waves on his own.  Meanwhile i was trying to catch waves on a smaller board.  For the first time, i rode a board with a pointy tip and less than 7 foot. (i think)  Alton (my 8 year old nephew) and Richard (oldest brother) came with body boards the next day.  Alton and Richard both knocked over some Salvadorans who were playing in the waves….i have video of one girl running away from Richard before he knocks her over….the thing that comes to mind is Zombieland where he says the first ones to go were the fatties, they just couldn’t run away fast enough.

The next day, was a bad day for surfing.  Me and Hiroko go in the morning, but the waves are breaking too close to shore.  We only surfed a little bit and Hiroko broke 2 fins.  I also had to have my board repaired.  Also, it was starting to get crowded at the beach, and people who saw we were surfing would stand right in the way, adding a layer of difficulty.  Sharla was learning to surf this day as well.  So, Elijah is holding the board and pushing her when the wave comes.  On like her 5th attempt she goes over the front, and the board front bobs down.  When she comes out of the water, the back of the board crashes down on her face.  A fin hits her in the forehead.  Blood everywhere, she goes to the beach and lays down.  This cut is deep, but Sharla is a Registered Nurse, and says she is ok.  When we get back to the house, she looks at the cut and decides not to go get stitches.   So to recap, that day I spent 15 dollars on board repair, Hiroko spent 35, and neither one of us could complain because Sharla got a scar  on her facethat will be there forever to remind her of her first day of surfing.  I mean Anna getting run over by another surfer and having a headache the rest of the day didn’t even get mentioned.  Oh yeah, and i ran over Elijah because i guess he didn’t see i was already on the wave.  Right as i’m about to try to stand, i feel a body under me, luckily no one got hurt, come to think of it, that’s prolly when i damaged the board, Elijah you owe me 15 bucks.

 

 

Holy Week part one

6 Apr

Ok, so Holy Week isn’t something Robin would say, here it is the week before Easter.  Richard decided to give everyone the Friday before Holy Week off also.  The plan was to go to the beach house near El Tunco, and spend a few days there (Richard’s family was staying the whole week) and then try to go to the national park El Impossible for the second half.  El Tunco is Salvadoreno for the pig, because there is a large rock formation, that supposedly looks like a pig.  There is surfing board rental available there, 5 dollars for 2 hours or 10 for the day.  My plan was to follow the van to Tunco on my moto.  As you may know, i have had a variety of problems with this moto.  I left the keys in the on position for 2-3 days, and had to have the guy who sold me the bike come fix it.  Well, the fact that I am a beginner on a motorcycle and traffic in San Salvador is crazy also meant I have been limited in how much practice I can have on the bike.  So the day before we leave, I ride my motorcycle down to the copy store to get some paperwork faxed in so that I can have health insurance.  I feel pretty good about myself, cause it was a pretty hefty amount of traffic for a beginner, and as I am on the way back, the gear shifter pops, and it is stuck in 2nd gear.  I show Saul, the driver of the van my problem and he fixes it.

So, the next morning I decide to test Saul’s fix, and drive the moto over to Richard’s.  Didn’t think about the fact that it was 9 am, so traffic was a little more than what i was ready for.  But i made it, was a little proud of myself.   Anyhow, as I am about to ride back to my house, I pray to God that I don’t want to die.  So God takes care of me, he allows the fix to break on the way back to the wired center, so it doesn’t break on the way to El Tunco.  The down side was, it was San Salvador traffic, and I’m stuck in 2nd gear.   Beginner cyclist, in San Salvador traffic with only second gear to work with.  Each time i have to stop, which is frequently, i have to rev the engine up like i’m peeling out, gun it and try and start in 2nd gear.  So I am revving it up like a drag race, get it going, throw the clutch back in, and coast the 15 yards or so that traffic moved.  Would like to brag about making a standard shift into an automatic simply by willing it, but since I prayed for safety, I’m not allowed to take any credit for my safe arrival back at the wired center.  I buy a new gear shifter for 6 bucks, replace the old one and try that out, do i have to tell you that plan didn’t work.  So I wind up having to give up on taking the bike to the beach.