A Happy New Year

Clink, clinkety, clink. BANG! POP-pop-pop-BANG!!!

The firecrackers hit the corrugated tin roof and before they could roll to the ground exploded with an awesome noise, plenty loud both inside the house and out.

Sleeping was not part of our itinerary for our first New Year's Eve in El Salvador.

Dancing was! Our own kids were down for the count with systems catching up with a week of local food, but my husband and I joined the rest of the families in the Casa Comunal for a lively New Year's Eve dance. One of my favorite images is of tall and lanky "J" who was in his awkward teen years dancing with a gorgeous young woman from the community who was decked out in a little off-the-shoulder yellow top, tight black pants and spike heels. Oh my -- J was having the night of his life. We danced like crazy, laughing and bringing the new year in with loud music and big sweaty smiles.

After the dance, we headed back to our host family homes to catch a little sleep before an early morning departure for the beach. That's when the fireworks began, and the celebration of the new year continued into the wee hours.

And in those wee hours, we got up and loaded ourselves, a group of about 75 cozy and sleepy people, onto a couple of old school bus for the 3 hour ride to the beach. In El Salvador, New Year's Day is Beach Day! The sand, the sun, the surf, and the food gave us a full day of celebratory fun!

The end of Beach Day on that Happy New Year Day brought a whole other adventure. You never know what the new year will bring.

When we arrived home that New Year on January 2nd, it was without our luggage. We still are not exactly sure why our suitcases spent an extra week in Mexico. Maybe it had something to do with a little discovery that J's mom made when she finally unpacked their suitcases. Without her knowledge, J had packed some of those awesomely fun Salvadoran fireworks into a suitcase, hoping to share a Salvadoran Happy New Year celebration back home in the snow.


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