Our visit to El Salvador was short but quite an eye-opener! We meet some of the finest people on earth during our travels. Often they are dealing with problems with the government and elected officials that are beyond our understanding as Americans.
Our friends in Costa Rica were having an election while we were there and everyone we talked with was terrified that a young 37 year-old who was a master orator without any concept of the history of the country or the damage at a communist regime could do to the free enterprise system that they were enjoying. The election was held on Super Bowl Sunday and the polling places were jammed. Luckily the communist party candidate lost and there will be a run-off in March for the two top candidates, neither of which anyone we talked to was very pleased about.
These good people we met with in El Salvador proved to be kind and smart and valiant They filled us in on an even more dire situation.. They are also having an run-off election between two men who both seem to be in it for the power and money. The person who is ahead at the moments is a pure communist who has guerillas behind him. The sad thing is that during election times, the party starts offering the poor people free stuff so they will vote for them. As soon as the election is over, the generosity ends and the dictatorship, graft and corruption starts!
We had dinner with one of the couples from the group the night after our presentation and they told us that their maid who has been with them for four years has a medical condition. They have been paying for her medication all that time since she could get no aid from the government . Suddenly since elections are coming up in May, the government has started giving free, top-of-the line medications to their maid. Of course she will vote for them! This is a widespread tactic!
Because many of them in the group are wealthy business men, their livelihood may be on the line after the election. Many have been offered bribes but they have refused to take them and feel that their integrity is more important. Many of them drive armored cars and have bodyguards.They are determined to stay in the country even though they and their families may be in jeopardy. They feel that they owe it to their employees and the good of the country. What an enormous sacrifice!
These people are terrific parents who are doing a lot to improve the country:
On a much happier note….DURING our presentation, Grandchild #25 was born in Maui, Hawaii! We knew Aja was in labor when we started and were delighted to see this little guy on Dad/Rick’s iPhone at the end of our presentation: 10 seconds old:
“Okay, I made it!”
Look at that beautiful chunky body (8 lbs 1 oz.) after his first bath!
We are over the moon!