Patreon Post from May 23, 2020

Well, being back in the US after 16 months away is… strange.

We left the US after crawling through a hole in a fence marked “No Trespassing” near the cruisers anchorage in San Diego California… and entered the US 16 months later by tying our dinghy to some mangroves and climbing up behind a grocery store in Key West Florida after not touching land for 28 days! (Those are both long stories!)

With multiple shopping bags in tow, we walked with our two friends from our buddy boat, Paanga, to the front of the strip mall, and experienced a bit of culture shock. Seriously, we’re all walking with our mouths open, gawking at all the stores, and were almost hit by a Dominos delivery driver. We must have looked like completely insane, haggard sailors. People stared at us.

COVID of course made our first shopping trip in the US a little more interesting with face masks and social distancing and all that… but I was just so excited to be in a grocery store with the huge amounts of American convenience foods! Which brings me to this month’s lesson…

Appreciate the foods that are available to you.

I bought half and half!! Real cream in my coffee for the first time in over a year!! It was heaven in a freaking cup! I bought cheese that I didn’t have to shred or slice myself! Fresh romaine lettuce!! Omg do you know the last time I had a salad that wasn’t made of cabbage?! And don’t even get me started on the pre-made salad packets!! So good! Yogurts with different nuts and candies inside! Aah!! And then the junk food aisle!! Justin and I were like little kids. We filled an entire cart with chips! I bought the kids pop tarts and FRESH milk. They were freaking out and jumping around like it was Christmas.

When we were in El Salvador last summer, we only had access to the tiniest little tienda in walking distance from the boat. It was the size of most espresso stands back home in Seattle. A family with young kids owned the store and there was a baby gate you had to step over to enter. They had very little fresh produce in the back that you had to ask for (in Spanish), but that little store was all we needed between long trips into San Salvador over an hour away.

Isla Cordoncillo is a tiny island in the estuary of Bahia Del Sol El Salvador that has one similar tienda for its residents. The island has no power, no water, and the soil is too salty to grow crops. We volunteered one day to help the US Embassy assemble rainwater filters for each family on the island. We also donated clothing and other household goods. We helped give the filters to a long line of families and played games with the kids of the island. I remember Tyler saying, “You know how you always tell me to finish my dinner because there are starving people in other countries? I always thought I understood, but I didn’t. I really understand now.”

That right there was why we embarked on this journey. ❤️