Zipline Time

The last time I was in Central America, I skipped ziplining because I was too evolved beyond the lures of zipling (and also poor), then I wrote about how the act of ziplining doesn’t matter and how it’s ok to walk down the hill instead. This time I decided walking down the hill while your friends are ziplining is PRETTY LAME (but still ok, if you’re intentional about it), so on Wednesday, we ziplined.

Zipline Apaneca

After a two hour van drive, we donned our helmets and harnesses and rode in the open-air truck up to the top of a mountain or hillside or whatever it was we would be zipping off of. I love how gung-ho everyone in our group was about activities. Of course everyone would be hitting the cables; there was no doubt about it.

Apaneca

We set off from about 15 different platforms and lines on the way down. The first few were tiny puddle jumpers, but they eventually led up to the longer main events. As we got further down, the clouds broke open into light rain. We had to switch out our leather gloves for waterproof versions, but a little water couldn’t stop us.

Floripondia

It started raining a lot harder once we were back in town. It was no concern to us, since we found a coffee shop/artesian store that served paninis with the greatest chimichurri of all time along with any variation of coffee brewing technique your heart might desire. Who knew a little town in El Salvador would have the latest espresso machines, Chem X, V60, and french presses? I can’t tell the difference, but I can recognize a master barista when I see one.

Cafe Axul Apaneca

To our delight, the rain ceased when we finished our lunch, and we were able to explore the town of Apaneca. I always love getting out of the resort and seeing what the actual country is like. This is one of the best I’ve seen. The people are very welcoming and the little streets have so much character—there were so many adorable paintings on the walls and telephone poles; I couldn’t resist photographing all the bright colors and intricate doorways.

Apaneca El Salvador
Apaneca El Salvador

We could’ve easily spent the whole day here, venturing down side streets and picking up on even more details. I know many countries have their dangers and that we should always be careful when in a new environment, but I truly have not found where all the warning messages about El Salvador come from. We’ve been in a big group with knowledgable guides, but the locals have all been friendly, well-educated, and kind.

Apaneca El Salvador

Getting out into the town makes me feel even more that El Salvador is a gem of a country and should not be missed.

Apaneca El Salvador

Waiting on WEST

This weekend, many of Austin's best galleries, museums, event spaces, and regular people's houses will open their doors to invite us all to come hang around and check out some really incredible art from art-makers all around the city. What's better than that? This will be my first year attending and volunteering at the West Austin Studio Tour, but I have been able to view and help at EAST for a few years now, and I imagine that its Spring counterpart will be equally magical. 

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Big Medium puts on some of the most wonderful art events in Austin, and these bi-annual studio tours have a particularly special way of making everyone feel like part of this giant community. You can pick out a catalog/guide from a nearby library, or plan out your route on the official website

Come hang out with me at Saturday's Community Breakfast! And if you wanted to help out by volunteering, I think you could join in here.

Intentions

Do y'all have any resolutions for this year?

I made it through 2016 without buying any new clothes, like I said I would, but my mom bought me quite a few new items, so I'm not sure that one counts. It might be back on the list. While I haven't been able to settle on many specific goals, my intentions for 2017 are to figure out my intentions for all the years hereafter. 

Artwork from the East Austin Studio Tour in November 2016

Artwork from the East Austin Studio Tour in November 2016

One thing I have been feeling more and more connected to in recent years is the desire for creative expression. I've been taking art classes and practicing some instruments, and I hope to keep that going this year. As I've learned more about the world and the people in it, I've become convinced that we all have a creative spirit inside of us. Of course, some people have easier and better access to it than others, but I think the potential exists in all of us.

My sister accessed hers and freehanded this awesome drawing from Instagram for me!

My sister accessed hers and freehanded this awesome drawing from Instagram for me!

I feel lucky to be in a place where the arts community is so active, and where you can pay $10 an hour to go somewhere and use any crafting supplies you need. That's the sharing economy at its best, in my opinion. Austin has so many fun events and spaces dedicated to the arts, along with amazing artists to learn from and check out. I'm looking forward to exploring and making more this year.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.