I love cheese.

April 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm Leave a comment

 So some interesting things I’ve done this week: Sunday, I learned how to make cheese called “cuajada”. My abuelos have a bunch of dairy cows and milk them and make cheese every day. So, as I said in a previous blog, “queso” is the salty, feta-like cheese. Then there’s “quesillo”, which is cooked in a pot. It tastes similar to mozzarella, which is why I like it. Lastly, there is “cuajada”. This cheese is almost like cottage chesse, but more firm and salty. The process is really easy. Milk the cows in the morning. Second, put an enzyme pill in the milk to make it gelatinous After and hour or so, the milk will separate in curds and whey. Strain out the whey into the bucket on a really old-looking wooden table with a slight slope to it and keep the curds. Let the curds consolidate by continuously placing them on top of each other. Chop into cubitos and sell for 30 lempira and pounds. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures. I will when I get to milk my cow next week.  

 

Also, did you know that cashews come from a fruit? You can eat the fruit or make it into juice. The fruit is big, shiny and red, has the shape of a bell pepper, and is yellow and fleshy on the inside. It’s pretty tart, so I am sure that the Hondurans add their share of sugar (everything here is either really sugary or really salty). Attached to the top is a cashew-shaped green seed pod. You pop those off, throw them into the fogon (open fire stove), take em out about 5 minutes later, hammer the shell off, and then you have a warm, chewy cashew. No wonder they are so expensive. I couldn’t imagine doing many of those by hand. In the backyard of my abuelo, there are a ton of these trees, and a plethora of mango trees, ciruelas trees, and guava trees. And a hammock. It is like heaven.

 

After my little fruit lesson, my mom took me and my sisters to the river for a dip. It would have been nice if the water temperature wasn’t the same as the ambient air temperature. But, if you didn’t open your mouth, it was an experience. All of the school kids where there jumping off the bridge, women were upstream washing their clothes, cows where down stream (Thank the lord), and men backed up their trucks to wash them right in the water. As soon as I saw the glistening pink and purple oil swirls, I decided to get out.

 

Monday, I was awoken but the sounds of Feliz Cumpleanos blasting from the stereo at 5AM. My sister turned 10. I attended  her party at school which felt like a circus, entertaining to say the least. All of her 30+ classmates had fun whacking the piñata (hopefully I can upload the video). Afterwards, they all filed into the classroom for cake and “fresca” (soda). I still cannot get over the amount of sugar they consume here. It was certainly an experience.

 

All week for my tech training, we have been doing a topo study for a water system design for a nearby “aldea” (small towns in the outskirts of a city). It has been really fun, although we have been using ancient equipment: theodolites and total stations. But they still work like champs. The community has about 70 houses, all of which do not have water.

 

Been watching the Honduras World Cup games down here. I feel I am living in Boston again. Hondurans are soccer fanatics to the nth degree and will do anything to express their anger/sadness/utter joy. I have decided to stay off the streets during and after games.  

 

Still haven’t gotten used to the heat. I am less angry, just now annoyed. You just don’t stop sweating. Ever. It’s even possible to sweat in the shower, believe me, I know.

 

This weekend, some friends and I are planning to meet up with the Business project trainees at a halfway point. It will be nice to see some new faces and be in a place 10 degrees cooler. And hopefully I will be able to talk my way out of church, something I have never been able to do before. Wish me luck!   

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