We left the the war torn hills of south eastern El Salvador to meet up with family of friends in a small town just outside of San Salvador, the capital city. Mayte and Luis are the aunt and uncle of a former co-worker of mine back in my Henkel days. Mayte is a professor of English at the University in the capital, and her husband Luis is a retired chemistry teacher. They insisted that we meet them and stay the weekend in their country house in San Jose Guayabal, the town where Luis grew up. As with any chance encounter with new friends we were unsure how well we would hit it off. It didn’t take us long to quell any doubts when we discovered they fill their time at their country home playing pool, preparing big meals and taking long naps.
When we entered the courtyard of their home we were greeted by Mayte and Luis’ five children, Messi, Obama, Euro, Taliban, and Pecutrin all named after events that occurred on or around the days of their birth. We were given a tour of their beautiful home, which is a continually growing. Luis and Mayte built it themselves and are constantly making little additions. It’s a beautiful space which includes no unnecessary amenities and relishes in the simplicity of a country home. No TV but lots of hammocks, no washing machine but an 8 foot pool table, no hot water shower but a circulating fish tank with the sole purpose of ensuring the freshest food possible. We had late dinners that lasted for hours and afternoon naps that lasted even longer. Our time flew by and before we knew it we had to say our goodbyes.
Some of our drives along the coast or in the hills ofCentral Americahave taken us by some extravagant and beautiful vacation homes owned by expats. This causes me to dream of some day being lucky enough to own a second home in some exotic local. However I quickly remind myself of the beauty of the situation Mayte and Luis have created for themselves. Their country home is a mere 45 minute drive from their apartment inSan Salvador, allowing them to spend nearly every weekend there. They truly get to take advantage of the best of both worlds. They enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city during the week and the calm of country living on the weekends. We felt extremely welcome in their home and it served as the perfect place to recharge.