Just about everywhere you live in El Salvador, you must get accustomed to weirdness with water, garbage, or both. When we were living in Los Planes, I got used to the sound of the bell ringing the garbage truck riding in. There was no set day for them to come, so when you heard the bell, it was a scramble for the bags and mad dash for the door, and hollering “ya voy” (I’m coming) to they wouldn’t pass me by. I joked to myself that like many things in El Salvador, if you don’t have someone in the house all day, you’re S.O.L., and gee what woul I do if I were working full time? Well that day came, and the garbage bags piled up in the corner for that special moment when the stars were aligned and I happened to be home on a weekend day at the same time they happened to pass by. Of course, our garbage didn’t have the stench it would have from sitting for days like it would back home, because all of the organic material like fruit and veggie peels were gifted to the garden. Meat and bone scraps were saved in a tub int eh freezer of rhet dogs on our visits to the in-laws. Heck, all of the scraps in the garden attracted animals like possums, but I say all the better. Why have a garden when you can have an ecosystem?
Now that we’re back in “el campo” (the country) my husband remarks that it’s nice to have the chickens to feed the veggie scraps too. Agreed, I say, what a shame all the food that gets tossed into garbage trucks to go needlessly wasted to the dump. As I’ve mentioened before, at least among the poor and middle class in El Salvador, very little gets wasted. But one downside to garbage collection in the country is there IS NONE! That’s right, no one comes to pick it up. You are left to your own devices, to sort, pile, and burn your own trash and Lord help you if you’re downwind from burning plastic. If it’s made of metal, you can usually get it off your hands by selling it to the “Chatarra” guy who wheels into the hood with his truck and loudspeaker, rattling off the scrap metal items and old TVs and radios he’ll trade you for a handful of coins. Cheaper broken down items like crappy old phones – who knows? My husband got rid of our old phone because my mother-in-law gave it to my sister-in-law as a gag gift. Don’t know what she did with it. The most troublesome item to eliminate from the household is broken glass or non-returnable glass bottles. Anyone have a neat craft idea for this so I don’t have to break and bury broken glass? Or shall I goto Nueva Concepcion and discreetly throw them quickly into a public can?