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Thunderstorms in Portorrios, El Salvador

July is raining season in Central America, and thunderstorms sometimes just roll on in when you least expect them!

One afternoon some of my friends and I were doing a volunteer project in a small village called Portorrios in El Salvador.  We were just setting up some portable sound equipment for an outdoor show that we were putting on for the local kids, when we heard it...the ominous sound of thunder in the distance.  Within seconds it was pouring!  Everyone scrambled for cover at the closest shelter, a tin roof which covered a local family's outdoor stove.  Men, women, children, dogs, and chickens all crammed into the small space, but to no avail.  The winds and rain were unrelenting, yet refreshing in the tropical heat.

I remember the scene so well: all of those people clinging to each other, screaming as the wind blew the cold rain in our faces, the smell of smoke from the smoldering kitchen fire, the chattering voices in Spanish.  A group of little girls clung to my skirt, wrapping their arms around my waist,  then shrieking and squeezing me tight when the lightning hit.  Suddenly one woman started screaming and grabbed her neighbor's arm for support.  It seemed that she had felt something graze her leg.  Her neighbors all erupted into laughter.  Apparently, a local dog had decided that hiding under the woman's skirts was his best bet for getting out of the rain!

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