For our last holiday season in Nicaragua, we wanted to be at home in Esteli and spend Christmas and New Years Eve like most Nicaraguans do: in family. We had two main goals, one of for each holiday. For Christmas I wanted to try the seasonal dish lomo relleno, and for New Years Eve Emily wanted to make our own viejo. Continue reading Home is Where the Holiday Is
I love food. I love cooking it, eating it, thinking about it, talking about it, everything. As a cook, I also know how good it feels to have someone expound on the scrumptiousness of my creations. Therefore, I have no shame in showering praise on people that make my barriga llena y corazón contento. I’ve successfully wooed the lady that prepares our lunches for STEP. She often writes my name on the boxed lunch destined for me, and I’ll be treated to a special surprise (an extra piece of chicken, an extra portion, a special side, etc.). Sometimes I get really lucky, and when she’s cooking up special dishes during the week, she drops a serving off at our house. This beauty is a baho she made last Friday. SOOO GOOD!!!!
I may have had to mad dash to finish Blogging Abroad‘s August Photo Challenge on time, but I made it! We participate in the monthly challenge in efforts to take more pictures and to work towards Peace Corps 3rd goal: sharing a bit of Nicaraguan culture with you.
May these photos make you hungry and help you realize that even if we eat differently, we eat well.
Blogging Abroad Photo Challenge:
#Food in Your Host Country
If you know me, you know that food runs my life. A generally jovial chap, I become quite melancholic at the prospect of missing a meal. In the US, weekly meal plans and weekend trips to the grocery store were how I made sure Emily and I were well fed.
However, things have been different here in Nicaragua. Whether it’s the lack of fridge/freezer space, or the fact that I can purchase all of my provisions within walking distance, I’ve developed a more improvisational style in regards to food preparation. Sure, I’m still constantly thinking about what we’re going to eat, but I’m mostly focused hours, not days, ahead. Here’s what a typical day looks like: Continue reading A Day in the Life (of my belly)
This week was difficult for us and the teachers of Estelí; a beloved and hardworking district employee, and dear friend of ours, suddenly passed away. Between attending the wake and funeral services, we were exhausted and knew the teachers were, too, so in efforts to be culturally sensitive, we canceled our Wednesday conversation group.
Almost immediately after sending the cancellation text, our phones rang off the hook! One of my counterparts, Regina, got in touch with me and said, “You can’t cancel tonight! We have a late-birthday surprise planned for Andrew. We don’t care if we don’t formally have class, but you still have to come.” So we resent the message, saying we’d have an informal class, for anyone who just wanted to come and be together.
Regina had cooked an entire, delicious Nicaraguan meal in honor of Andrew. As she says, “he loves all the foods!” Even in the midst of pain and loss, perhaps especially during these times, our friends have shown incredible care, affection, and love for us. I hope we can learn from and carry their example with us for years to come.
Just imagine how “buttery” they are.
This is a guest post by Andrew’s father, Erik, from when he visited us in January 2016.
In his January Dicho Blog entry Andrew shared with us:
Hijo de tigre nace rayado – The son of the tiger is born striped.
In his comments he mentioned the joy of seeing their service through the new eyes of Carla and I as they introduced us to the natural beauty of Nica and the wonderful human nature of the Pinoleros whom have taken them in as family and friends. I want to share the viewpoint from the eyes of this old tiger as I reflect on our experience. Continue reading From the Eyes of the Old Tiger