Monday, August 31, 2015

el salvador // service projects

during our time in el salvador, we participated in three service projects. the first one was assisting with giving eye exams to over 1,000 children. if they needed glasses or an eye surgery, it would be free due to the donation that proof made. it was super hot that day. 
the second service project was helping build 19 homes that were destroyed by a tidal wave. these 19 families were living together with barely anything. they basically had a roof over their head with absolutely no personal space. the materials needed to build their homes were provided by proof. we also provided pinatas, games, and snacks for the children. i was told it was the most exciting thing that they have done in a long time.  it was super duper hot that day. 
later in the evening, after we did what we could with the homes, we went to distribute cocoa trees to a small community. these trees will help provide an additional source of income as they can bake things using them. there was a celebration for the trees and everyone seemed to be having a good time and then i noticed that the people started getting anxious as the sun was setting. el salvador is becoming more dangerous and apparently they all wanted to be home before dark.. makes me grateful i don't really have to think like that. and, it had finally cooled off a bit. 
i must say, i have been in charge of filming and taking photos for two events this last summer that could have been such an amazing emotional experience for me... but i'm embarrassed to say that they weren't. i have noticed that as soon as the camera is in front of my face, my mind switches gears and i am now "working." not being a part of what is going on, but working. i need to work on that. i see people get really attached to their work and i think that is so special. i feel attached while i am editing and when the finished product is complete, but not so much during. i am so grateful for these experiences though and that i get to be a part of them. definitely an eye opener.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

proof eyewear // do good project - el salvador

proof eyewear // el salvador do good project from darlene dame on Vimeo.

i will get around to posting photos soon.. 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

el salvador // last day

i will post about our second and third day next because i still have to go through my photos to decide which to post. i have so many photos! our purpose for this trip was to do service in el salvador which we did the second and third day there. these photos were taken on our last day spent at the beach house. we literally did nothing, all day. it was quite nice. we swam, retrieved fresh coconuts and mangos from the trees, ate papusas, and ended the day with a fire on the beach. we felt secluded to our beach house since there wasn't a whole lot around us. we woke up early the next morning to head home and i experienced something at the airport that really frustrated me. we went through security and then they had a second security check at our gate. they went through everything in our bags and took a few of my liquid cosmetic products, even though they were under 3 oz. i was frustrated because they weren't cheap products. replaceable, yes. but still.. i got in an argument with them and they said they had to take them since they weren't in a ziplock bag. my makeup bag practically is ziplock bag.. it's clear with a  zipper. they put my items in the garbage and said i can't have them. i went to vent to tanner and the girls we were with and one of them had a ziplock bag. i took it and went back to the security check telling them i want my items. at first, they said i couldn't and i started getting worked up. finally, they let me grab them, myself, out of the garbage. they did the same thing to another girl we were with and i gave her the ziplock bag after i got my items. she went to do the same thing, but they wouldn't let her get her things back. super annoying. i watched as locals went through the gate check and they were given, GIVEN ziplock bags if they had liquid items. i will now always have the little silly baggies with me now when i travel. 

el salvador // first day

we left our adorable air bnb rental in guatemala around 6 AM and i don't think any of us were happier to get off our bus than when we arrived at our rental in el salvador. the drive was quite long (although very pretty) but the driver never turned the air conditioning on and it got so hot and humid. i will always love central america, but i don't do well when i am overly hot. it can definitely break me. we got into that pool as fast as we could and it felt so refreshing. the rest of the day was spent eating papusas and rice, hanging out talking (and who am i kidding, we had wifi so we were on our phones a lot) spending time at the beach and relaxing. the beach outside of our rental was not the prettiest and littered with garbage but it was beautiful in it's own different way. i never even got into the ocean because i heard the current was quite strong and at one point taylor got swept out and said he has never been so scared. i'm a wuss and always play it safe so hearing taylor say that made me stick to the pool. the town we stayed in was tiny and one you could walk through in two minutes. i kind of loved it though. we were in the heart of their culture. tanner, taylor and i went to grab food for everyone one afternoon and weren't sure if we'd even come back with some.. we finally found a little "resturaunt" in the back of someones home and ate our meals in a fly infested, dog territory, balcony overlooking the ocean. we literally had at least six dogs surrounding us watching us eat and one made me sick to look at. i'm pretty sure it had been hit by a car and it's leg was bent in a way it should not have been. i kept thinking there is no way anyone would eat what we brought back if they knew where it came from. no one got sick, i think.. it always amazes me to see how different other cultures are and what they know to be the norm. these people didn't know any different then what their living circumstances were and most likely never would. i've seen this a lot over the last few years i've been able to travel. it always, always, makes me appreciate home more. 


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

antigua // guatemala

^view from our balcony

 we arrived in anitgua in the late afternoon and were feeling quite tired from the traveling so far. i wish we had more time just to hang out in our air bnb spaces because we had some good ones. this one had a lot of spanish charm and a beautiful view of a volcano. we took tuk tuks into the city after resting for a quick minute. we walked around the pretty colored streets and through the main square. we walked to the famous arch and over to a colorful local market where we bargained for some goods. they were not very easy to bargain with! they stood their ground and didn't hardly budge on prices. in the end, i did get a blanket which was what i wanted most. 

i was intrigued by the charm of this city. i loved it! it had cobble stone streets and colorful buildings and people wearing the authentic dress. i love traveling with tanner but it was fun being there with other people. hopefully some day i will get back to guatemala to spend more time there and see more of the country! 
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