Thursday, February 7, 2008

Dinners at My Apartment

So, a few weeks ago I began having groups of up to five of my 10th grade students over to my apartment on Thursday evenings for a homecooked meal. The first week I made roast beef, upon request of the guys. It didn't turn out very well but we still had fun. Only two of the four ended up being able to come but that made it easier to get to know each other. I meant to be the one asking about them but somehow the table got turned on me...actually that has happened both times. And both times after dinner some of the students washed my dishes! Last week for the girls I made my new favorite meal of chicken seasoned with chipotle, salt and pepper and then covered in an avocado, lime and onion sauce. Yum yum. The girls were impressed. One of them asked me for the recipe and I had to confess it was Martha Stewart's. We had corn and baked french fries with it and then had chocolate cake with homemade peanut butter frosting and vanilla ice cream (they brought the ice cream). I didn't take a picture the first week but I took a few last week. That's Maria with Sara slung over her shoulders. She's a bit of a tom-boy. In the group photo that's Luisa behind me, then Daniela, Sara, Maria and Elisa (or Carol) in the front. Some of my brightest students. Can't wait for the next group though I get nervous everytime. Gotta head down the street to go watch Lost now. Can't miss it! Tomorrow we don't have school. It's a retreat for the teachers to a nearby retreat center. I'd rather just have a day off to do whatever but it could be fun. Hopefully this weekend I'll spend with my host family. Another update soon. Hope you're checking this regularly because I'm posting like you all asked! :)

Friday, February 1, 2008

Saturday AM on the Market Bus

The graffiti is all I can see out my bus window while I wait for everyone else to finish their open-air market shopping. We go to the market next to the national stadium every other Saturday. The bus leaves our apartments at 6:30. First we stop at "On the Run" it's a gas station/convenience store (and yes, as you can see for yourself, the name is in English) to get money and coffee. Check out the price of gas, the exchange rate is about 19 Lempira to $1, which makes it almost $4/gallon (That's normal here). Some people get breakfast at the gas station but I prefer to wait for a market breakfast of a baleada. A baleada is a flour tortilla with crema (similar to sour cream), red refried beans, scrambled eggs, and a little sausage folded inside. Health food, I know! :) I only get it once in a while. Besides, it balances out all the healthy fruit and vegetables I buy at the market. :) You can buy a whole fresh pineapple for less than a dollar, a pound of bananas for 3 lempiras (about 15 cents), 50 cents for about 8-10 lovely plum tomatoes, lettuce for 25 cents, etc. Gotta love it. Last week when I took this video I ran out of bills small enough to use at the market so I had to be done early. I was pretty bummed. After everyone gets back to the bus, we head down the road a bit to La Colonia to get our groceries. I wish I had pictures of the before and after transformation of that store. A few weeks after we started going there they began working on it. (It was interesting to compare construction practices here to the U.S. Safety, what's that?) Anyway, a few months later on one of our regular trips to the store we thought we were in the wrong place. There had been a sudden and very complete transformation. It became La Colonia Mega. I'll have to take a picture and show you. It's a common occurence around here lately...everything is becoming "Super" or "Mega." After we get our groceries our last stop every week is a bakery called Pan y Mas (Bread and More). Last week I ran down the street to a pharmacy to do some translating for one of the other teachers. I was happy for the chance be helpful and to use my Spanish. Some teachers claim me as their assistant shopper for the day, especially at the market where the vendors are often harder to understand. This week we're heading to Price Smart (like BJ's more or less) and Multiplaza Mall right across the street. I'll have to take some pictures so you can see what it's like.