Archive for January, 2010

Christmas and New years pics!

January 10, 2010 at 7:52 pm 1 comment

Feliz Ano Nuevo

Hace mucho tiempo que he escrito algo. Sorry, it’s been along time. And I would like to say I have been very busy with work and saving the world, but that really isn’t the case. I was pretty much a bum the whole month of December. Partly my fault, partly baby Jesus’s fault too. The municipalidad pretty much shuts down for 3 weeks around Christmas time. My office happened to be open, but 75% of my co-workers took vacation. I wanted to check out potential water sources for 2 communities, but after being fijese que –ed twice (meaning I showed up to the office with my GPS, lunch, and gear, only for them to tell me, ‘ohhh katy, lo siento, pero . . . FILL IN BLANK WITH EXCUSE’), I decided to take my own vacation too. I know what you are all thinking, vacation from vacation. Well. . . . .yea.

It all started one day when miraculously a wireless internet signal showed up on my computer. A blessing and a curse, I say. I proceeded to lock myself in my apartment for an entire week to surf the web in search of the end of the internet. Well, not really. The only pages I look at are gmail, toxic facebook, BBC, and an obscene amount of cooking blogs and recipes. Within this one week, I had planned the most delightful Christmas dinner and had found the world’s best cookie recipes. On my hiatus, I also read a ton of books, which is an anomaly, because anyone who knows me knows I don’t really read. Of what I’ve read, I recommend: The Brief and Wondrous life of Oscar Wao, Water for Elephants, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, and The Sex Lives of Cannibals. I am in the middle of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which I also highly recommend.

I did, however, leave my house for several Christmas parties and church celebrations. I went to my office Christmas party, complete with carne asada, plato tipico, ronpopo (eggnog), a live band, and enough rum, whiskey, and beer to shake a stick at.  I was delighted to find out that the “special” beer of the night happened to be Milwaukee’s Best. The Beast. My office knows how to get down without being fresa like most of the folk here in Santa Rosa! After the eating, drinking, dancing, and the karaoke I was forced to sing with my counterpart (seriously, he dragged me up on stage), the highlight of my night came at the end (sarcasm). We all participated in amigo secreto, aka secret santa. The name of the game is to step in front of the microphone and describe to everyone your amigo secreto so people can guess who you have. Well, due to some fluke, another fellow (who shall remain nameless) and I managed to get each other’s names. We were the last ones standing of course, and I was a bit relieved that I did not have to speak Spanish into a microphone.  Well to my surprise, my (hammered) amigo secreto grabbed the microphone, in front of ALL of my co-workers, and proclaimed, “Mi amiga secreta es bien chele, la gringa mas bella, que pechosa, que PECHONALIDAD!” The rough English translation: She is white, the most beautiful gringa, how busty, nice tits! Yup. This is how he described me. And this is why I don’t go into the office very often. I placed my head on the table, and held back tears and the urge to throw some blunt object in his general direction.

I also attended an Evangelical party/service with my dear neighbor Carol. I like going to these things just so I cant get to know more people. It still is hard to integrate when you are in a site of 30,000+ people. It was a wonderful service, and still can’t get over how happy evangelical services are. Where are all the dreay, solemn, catholic chants dripping with guilt? I mean, yea, the evangelicals are still are preaching about El Senor, but when everyone is smiling and clapping hands, how can you not join in?

So those were my Christmas parties/obligations. Fortunately, Christmas day turned out great! I had 10 close friends and their visiting family members over for a 2-day eating marathon. The menu included: vegetarian chili, cornbread, sesame bagels, dill dip, real cheese (not Honduran dry squeaky cheese), guacamole, chizmole, potato latkes, potato perogies, stuffing, steamed veggies, butter crescent rolls, 2 roast chicken, chicken gravy, and a mountain of Christmas confections, 7 varieties to be exact. Yes, I look at food blogs, a lot. I know the feast sounds pretty common, but it was a miracle to find all the ingredients here in Honduras. It was another miracle to cook everything on my 2 burners and tecknochef toaster oven. Carol was nice of nice to lend me her oven for the chickens. Although it was sad to be away from family in the states, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We played white elephant, you know, that game where you find whatever is lying around the house and wrap it up to give away. Everyone draws a number, and based on the number, you wait your turn to pick a gift from the center. Choice gifts this year included: 2 kazoos, a gorilla costume, maracas, and a grapefruit scented eye pillow. I hope you all saw the kazoo video I posted on facebook. We also played a couple rounds of world geography, thanks to my mom’s world map she sent me (well, it’s supposed to be donated, but it has found a place on my wall) and my sitemate Bryan’s uncanny resemblance to a gameshow host. That map was referenced many times that night.

After Christmas, the gang left, and new gang came it. Many of my friends’ parents/family members have been visiting this past month, so I have been lucky enough to meet most of them. After entertaining more visitors, and embarked on a magical journey to Honduras’s only microbrewery to meet up with another volunteer and her family. The microbrewery is owned by an ex-pat and is located on Honduras’s only lago, Lago de Yajoa. Well, turns out I never really saw the lake because I was too busy drinking pale ales, ambers, and stouts and Bsing with friends. And I don’t regret it. I even ate a real hamburger.

New Years found my in the Rio Cangregal, right outside Parque Nacional Pico Bonito, La Ceiba. Stayed in a quaint jungle lodge along the rio. Gorgeous. I am always amazed how beautiful this country is. Went boulder jumping up and down the river. While rafting, I managed to get thrown out and under the raft only once when we flipped on a rapid called “The F**ker”. Appropriately named, I thought. Grateful I didn’t fall out more that once, the guide had it in for me when he caught me mocking his New Zealand accent. It wasn’t on purpose I swear, it’s just a bad habit! The next day we leisurely kayaked through a mangrove and a lagoon that led to the beach. Despite being bit UP by mosquitoes and sand flies, we got to see some monkeys, a ton of cool birds, some bats, and a breathtaking vista of Pico Bonito. Couldn’t have asked for a better new years.

Back in site right now and trying to get into the swing of things. I am very happy to be attending my Sunday markets again. Let’s say it is like church for me. The fruits, vegetables, flowers, eggs, beans, etc. are so fresh and colorful and beautiful. It will definitely be on thing I will miss dearly when I return to the states. I even took a picture of my produce today to show you all how wonderful it is! (Did I mention I look at food blogs?). I bought a 6 pound papaya (according my scale), mandarinas, grenadinas, radishes, a pound of carrots, a pound of onions, and a pound of broccoli all for 70 Lempiras!!!!!! That is roughly $3.70. Amazing. Ok, enough rambling for now. I will write more when I have something work related to say.

January 10, 2010 at 7:20 pm Leave a comment


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