A Weekend To Remember

This past January, when my parents were visiting us in San Salvador, my brother Randy received the great news that he had been selected into our High School's "Hall of Fame". 
Last weekend, I surprised my brother and made a quick trip up to San Francisco for the induction ceremony. 

 So fun to also see my high school gymnastics coach (and sitter when my folks went out of town.)  Who is also Clint Eastwood's ex-wife!
 Why yes ... my dad was also inducted into HIS Hall of Fame for wrestling.


Because Who DOESN'T Let Their 5 YO go Ziplining ... 400 Feet Above A Coffee Finca?

Last weekend my dad came to town for a quick visit.  We had been talking about taking the kids ziplining for awhile, but we waited to do it with him as we knew he'd enjoy it. 

None of us had ever been before (not just here in El Salvador, but ever), so we had no idea what to expect.  The guides gave us a quick explanation about the 14 line tour, how to hop on, hop off, where to put our hands and how to stop.  All in Spanish. 

And then we were off! 
The girls went first. And then Grady.  Who, despite being JUST 5 years old and weighing ONLY 40 pounds, was allowed to go.  Like all things Salvadorean, it was, "do it at your own risk despite your age or size." 

We started off slow.  A mere 60 foot long cable, no higher than 16 feet off the ground. 
Before we knew it, we were soaring 410 feet ABOVE the coffee finca ... on a cable 900 feet long. 

Then my son got stuck.  And had to be rescued.  Which I think scared me far more than it did him. 

Thankfully his apprehension went away rather quickly as he hopped back onto another cable, and down he went. 

I'm glad I looked at the map after we went rather than before ... otherwise I don't know how comfortable I would have been anticipating the ridiculously high cables. 
As you can see, the kids truly enjoyed themselves.  
 I think I'd go again too ... just next time I'll bring another pair of underwear with me. 


Take Your Child To Work Day ...

... because who doesn't suit up in Marine Security Guard React Gear and make "War Faces?"


Splash. Pedal. Dash.

Forty kids participated in our first Embassy triathlon today.  An event that brought families and friends together for a day of physical exertion, mental toughness and camaraderie.  It.  Was.  Awesome!  Not only did everything run like a well oiled machine, but never have I seen a competition where every single person was supporting every single child.  We cheered.  We teared.  We took pictures galore. 

The Perl kids did quite well today too.  Grady didn't complain nearly as much as we had anticipated, and actually came in third for his age group.  Sheridan came in fifth for her age group and was the second girl to cross the finish line.  And Riley, no stranger to the triathlon circuit,  put it all out there and came in third in her age group and was the first girl. 

A great Sunday morning without the iPads ... iPhones ... XBoxes.  

Just pure sweat and perseverance.   


Making The Padres Proud ...

Another stellar quarter for the Perlman girlies.  Both girls made the school Honor Roll, with Riley also making the Principal's Honor Roll for the third quarter in a row. 

If that wasn't enough for today's awards assembly, Riley received her certificate and medal for winning the best project for the 6th grade Science Fair.

And if that STILL wasn't good enough, Riley found out during the assembly that her group was awarded 1st place for best project during the World Culture Fair. 


El Seder

Matt hadn't even been at our new post of El Salvador more than a week before he was approached by our DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission) about planning the Passover Seder.  Nine.  Months.  Away. 

The Jewish Community here is small and secular, with until recently, nobody like our friends from our previous post in Chennai, India who could help plan Jewish Holiday events. 

Over the course of the past several months, the topic of Passover would come up in passing, and I would always acknowledge that if when the time came it was still something the community would want to attend, I would host it.  However, up until four weeks ago, I didn't realize that hosting it really meant, doing all of it myself. 

So, with no time to spare, and a week long vacation out of the country, the Embassy Community Passover Seder of 2015 was on.

With the first and second night Passover falling during Semana Santa (the Holy Week preceding Easter) and all the kids off for Spring Break, we knew most of the families who would attend the Seder were going to be out of town.  Thus, we decided to hold our Seder on the final evening of Passover, this past Friday evening.  

Despite the mad dash of ordering the Matzah and all of the things needed to host the Seder with less than four weeks to plan, the evening turned out even better than I could have anticipated.

With the right combination of Jewish humor and religious piety, our DCM led a beautiful Seder, with over 90 people attending, including the Ambassador.  

Of course, no Seder is complete without Matzah Ball Soup and Manishevitz ... though with the shipping restrictions, I wasn't able to have Gefilte Fish sent in ... much to many's dismay.  As this was more of a cultural affair (Seder 101), we did have our fair share of Chametz and non-Kosher fare.  Which made our potluck dinner all the more tasty.  

We were blessed to have so many friends attend the festivities.  With several helping to set up, and even more staying to clean, dare I admit that I'm already anticipating what a blowout event Passover 2016 will be? 

L'Shana HaBa'ah B'El Salvador.

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