I woke up to my alarm at 5:40am, put on my running gear, headlamp and grabbed my flashlight. I’m going on my first run here in Ciudad Romero together with Amy Kessler. We thought the sun would be up by 5:50am, but along with most people the Sun was also still in bed.

We headed off to Nueva Esperanza, came across a few cattle herds, aggressive dogs, but kept on running. Even though I knew there were dogs at every house, it was still a scary surprise to see a muscular, teeth-bared, and barking dog jumping at incredible speed toward you. Since this morning, I’ve learned that instead of yelling at the dogs to stop, the locals simply hiss at the dogs and that should do it. We’ll have to try the local method on our next run.

morning smokeI love the mornings. The temperature is a comfortable high 20 degrees Celsius or in the low 30s, the streets are filled by cattle as they are herded to their owner’s farmland, songbirds warm up their vocal chords by a short song from one tree to another, and the roosters wake whoever doesn’t rise with the sun at 6am.

At our house, Karina and Chabella wake up early around 4:30 am to start with food preparations for the day. The rest of the house wakes half and hour to an hour later. We are fortunate to be staying in this wonderful household and enjoy Salvadorian food every day. I have loved every single meal we have been served here! For breakfast there is always coffee, tortillas or bread, a bean spread, and scrambled eggs with peppers and other ingredients. Coffee is served without milk, but with sugar. In my opinion, the coffee here has great flavor and isn’t too bitter to drink without milk or cream.

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