As this difficult week comes to an end, I've been thinking of places that I've used to bring comfort and shelter. In El Salvador, I used to have a small cave that my friends and I had called "escondite" or hide out. This escondite was in front of a neighbor's home. It was a small cave that delicate ivy leaves had formed in front of her house. As you were inside, nobody could see you from the outside. We liked this sense of privacy and secrecy that this space provided for us. It wasn't a big space, but big enough for our tiny bodies to sleep, read, relax or hang out in there. The water meter was located under a concrete compartment in the ground. We would use this space to save our snacks, books, plates and toys. A small water canal would run right by it, so that was where we would use the restroom if we didn't want to run home. As I have said before, I spent most of my childhood wondering around the streets in El Salvador. The civil war ended when I was 6, and a sense of security and peace was beginning to merge after years of suffering and death. I didn't understand any of this at that age. I could only understand my world in the sense of my home. My home was my world, and sometimes the world there was difficult to take. The escondite brought shelter, a space I could hide from outside harms, discomforts and my mom. I wish I could find an escondite, a place where I could go to recharge and comeback when I was ready. This is of course not an option, because I'm a grown up now, and time moves on without waiting for you to be ok. I've been told that the first year of grad school is the hardest. Well.