Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Back again, my face

I'm back. I was in El Salvador last week. No, not for the last month. I just haven't felt particularly inspired with the blogging and whatnot.

What was I doing in El Salvador, you ask? Why, I was building houses. Houses for POOR PEOPLE. What were you doing? Something not as awesome, I bet. (I am fronting here because in the real world I feel a mixture of (a) reticence about mentioning that this was a charity trip so as to not sound like a self-righteous dick and (b) genuine excitement about the fact that I did actually get to do something really cool that helped some really needy people. But that kind of complexity doesn't play well on the blog, see?)

The highlights of the trip were spending time with a great team of people from my church, building a house, hanging out with lots of kids, and eating a shitload of beans and rice. We had a $275 food budget for 10 people over 7 days -- and we made it! On the other hand, it will be a while before I can see a corn tortilla without retching. I'll cover the trip more later. In short, it was a great time and I got to translate the phrase "lago con fuego y azufre" (lake of fire and sulphur, that is) at least once. Good times.

Getting home was kind of a pain in the ass. My flight was to land in Houston -- where Baby and the girls were waiting for me -- but it got diverted to Austin due to poor weather. But I couldn't get off the plane in Austin and had to wait for the plane to refuel and fly back to Houston, so that I could take the airport shuttle to the crazy half-finished hotel Baby chose for us, where we stayed the night before driving back to Austin. The girls liked the hotel, but a roach encounter early on meant that they were talking about roaches the whole time we were there. (Mainly this consists of Alia saying "Daddy! Woach! Daddy! Woach! I saw woach!" over and over again.)

Shortly after getting back to Austin, I decided I was going to surprise Baby by shaving my glorious, full, beautiful beard, the pride of my face. (I did this partially because yesterday was our seventh anniversary, and partially because my sunburn/beard/tattered clothes combo was making me look more homeless than I usually aspire to.) Unfortunately my face seems to have grown accustomed to my laissez-faire shaving policies and has revolted against the razor. In short, I look like Michail Gorbechev headbutted me on the mouth and his birthmark came off on my face. Or sort of like I have face herpes. Or perhaps like the Phantom of the Opera. Or maybe it's more like I'm wearing a pain muzzle. Or possibly that I'm sporting a youth minister goatee made of suffering. Regardless, it's fucking embarrassing to be seen in public. I am really looking forward to getting my beard back, but it seems unwise to grow it out until my face is healed from whatever the fuck is wrong with it. Yesterday, nobody at work was tactless enough to mention the SARS mask of abomination clinging to my face, so I thought "perhaps it's not as noticeable as I'm thinking." But that was only because Mustafa took the day off. The first thing he said to me this morning -- after ten merciful days of not seeing one another -- was "what happened to your face?"

And I had nearly forgiven him for saying my beardlessness made me look "very chubby" when I shaved last year.

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