It has been a while since I have updated the blog. I am adjusting to life in my community. I have completed three months in my site! Time has passed quickly. In August, I will be presenting my community and environmental analysis to the community. I moved out of my host family house and into my own house this past Friday. I really enjoyed their company, so living on my own is going to take some getting used to. I have been spending a lot of time in the school and pasearing in the community.
I went through a phase of consuming at least 2 mangoes everyday, but unfortunately mango season is basically over. Pivae is the new fruit in season. It grows way up high in a palm tree like a coconut. They grow in clusters and one has to knock them down with a very long pole. They sort of look like acorns or miniature less developed coconuts. There are tons of spines on this particular kind of palm, so they have to be knocked down carefully so as to not get spines all over oneself. Once they are harvested, they are boiled with salt and consumed by pealing the outer layer off. On the inside, there is an oval shaped seed an if you crack it open there is a small nut on the inside that tastes remotely like coconut. Also, even though oranges aren´t really in season yet, I have eaten a few that are still green but already sweat on the inside. Delicious. Corn is also beginning to be harvested, so I have been enjoying all of the delicious products made out of corn (vinuelas, tortillas asadas, tortillas fritas, chicheme, etc…).
Though I keep hearing people say it is raining less than it has in the past, I would say the raining season is well underway (ie winter). There have been some crazy thunderstorms. It seems like it always rains in clusters. Some nights we can see and hear thunderstorms happening very close by even though it isn´t raining there. Other days or nights it pours in Paraíso and we hear that it didn´t rain one or two communities over. After some seriously heavy rains the creek that crosses the road near the entrance to the community flooded into the road. I can only imagine what it is like when it rains more!! Interspersed between days full of rain are the ever persistent hot sunny humid days.
I learned how to make chorizo out of pig meat and pig intestines! We cleaned out the intestines with lemons , turned them inside out, and soaked them in water for a while. All the pig meat was fresh off the pig, and we chopped it up into little pieces and mixed it together with garlic, culantro, onion, pepper, and so on. Then, the intestines were stuffed with all the ingredients and tied off into sausage links with string. Before eating, they were smoked over a fire for about a day. Then they were fried up and we ate them with yuca!! They were very tasty.
I saw a tucan last weekend. I also learned a new word for ice cream (helado) = barquillo. One of my best friends is 10 years old. I finally have my own hammock.