Monday, April 26, 2010

Cribs: Peace Corps Edition

A look inside my house in Honduras. I am home in Arizona right now for a friend's wedding (more on that later) so I was able to take advantage of the fast internet to upload this video. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Brooke returns to Honduras for Semana Santa

As I said in my last blog, Brooke visited Honduras for the second time to spend Semana Santa with me in Ocotepeque. We didn't plan a whirlwind tour like we did the last time that she visited and we just planned on hanging out in my site and enjoying the festivities of the week. Some of the highlights of the week are documented in photos below.

One of the days that she was here, a friend of mine taught us how to make ticucos. Ticucos are a traditional Honduran food that are kind of like a small meatless tamale. The process to make the corn husk rolled masa treat is pretty arduous. I think it took us about five or six hours from start to finish.

Here I am sorting beans. After buying beans, you have to sort through them to pick out all of the rocks and bad beans before cooking.

We went to the grinder to grind the masa that consisted of corn, onions, garlic, green pepper, and water. Brooke got a chance to work the masa coming out of the grinder.

We then mixed the masa with the beans, a TON of oil, and chipilin (sp?) which is an herb of some sort.

The mix was then rolled up in corn husks and cooked for about two hours before they were ready to eat. Here is Brooke proudly displaying a few of these tasty nuggets before we devoured them. mmmmm

Another highlight of Brooke's visit was a hike that we had planned with another Peace Corps Volunteer, her boyfriend, and five other Honduran friends. When you look into the mountains to the west of Ocotepeque, on the highest peak you can see a radio tower and the top of this peak is called the Peña Rojada. I had been wanting to hike to this point ever since I got here so I was pretty stoked to get a chance to do it. None of us had been there before so we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into. We left at six in the morning with a bag full of ticucos, about 20 bags of chips, and a three liter pepsi (typical honduran fare) and finally got to the trail around 9. From there, we started our ascent which took about 4 hours to get to the top. It was exhausting but the hike and views were beautiful. Once we got to the top, the trial continued on so we decided to walk a little further to see what was up ahead. We wondered onto a campground that was teeming with Salvadorians. Turns out that we had arrived at the highest peak in El Salvador-- El Pital (about 9000 feet). After inquiring with the other visitors, we found out that you can drive to the peak from the El Salvador side and camp up there! Oh well, now we know for next time. When the authorities started hassling us for our passports that we didn't have, we decided that it was time to head back down. We arrived back home at about 6 o'clock at night ready for a shower and sleep.

Brooke and I catching a breather in El Volcancito which is the last pueblo that we came to before entering the forest.

Me standing on top of the Peña Rojada.

Cute little Honduran mountain town.

Finally, here is a picture of Brooke washing clothes on my pila.

That is it for now. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter holiday.