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Guatemala - day five

 We're just on the verge of the beginning of the rainy season

On Wednesday morning, we went into town with Micah to drop off Yelsi for her class, take care of some banking, buy some wood for one of Dave's projects, and go to the produce market for the next two dinners.  While Mike and Micah went after the wood, I stayed in the van to guard the money.  We were parked right by one of the paths that the kids take to go back and forth to school, and I watched a bunch of them strolling down the street with their uniforms and backpacks.  Although the backpacks had shoulder straps, they were more likely to end up being carried on the kids' heads!  Micah told me later that the younger kids go to school in the early morning until around noon and then the older ones go in the afternoon until around 6 pm.

 The women mostly wear their traditional dress: 
a corte (skirt), huipil (embroidered blouse), and faja (sash)

 Then men mostly wear jeans


The kids at the orphanage want some Jewish food for dinner...not that they have any idea exactly what that is...and I was not sure how I was going to do that with all the unfamiliar vegetables.  However, chicken soup is always an option!  I decided on an egg thickened version and we did manage to find more than enough produce that would work.  There were already plenty of eggs and pieces of frozen chicken back at the home, so we bundled up our produce and headed off to find a good bakery.

If I hadn't had Micah guiding me, I would never have known that there was a bakery down the narrow little walkway!  Going anywhere with Micah is an adventure: we ended up barreling down a one-way street the wrong way, and when he saw a traffic cop at the upcoming intersection, he was happy about it!  "Don't worry...he'll stop the traffic for us so we don't get boxed in and can get across."  With a wave on both sides, that's exactly what happened.  I'm very happy to report that the orphanage vehicles are recognized in town, and that everyone seems to like us!

Tuk-tuks are small enough to fit through the streets more easily than we did!

Yelsi found us at the bank (she saw the van, of course), so we headed on back to the orphanage just in time for lunch.  As soon as we had cleaned everything up, I started on the dinner prep.  Kimber, their current volunteer, wanted to help cook, and it certainly helped me an awful lot to have another set of hands available.  It also helped a lot that Mike had sharpened all the knives yesterday!  We made Lemon Chicken Soup, except there were quite a few substitutions: rice for orzo, some prepackaged herb mix for thyme, guisquil for the butternut squash that I sometimes add.

 Guisquil, garlic, carrots, and lemons (not limes)

Since we had all afternoon to cook, and Kimber wanted to learn as much as possible, we did it the fussy way.  We roasted the chicken first, made our own stock from the bones, skin, and vegetable peelings, sauteed all the vegetables before adding them to the soup, and kept the rice separate.  We used an egg and lemon juice mixture to thicken the soup and add flavor.  And we made enough for two meals since tomorrow would be a traveling day for everyone: two huge pots of chicken soup!

 The soup definitely doesn't look the way it usually does!

For grace before the meal that night, I taught the kids the Hebrew and English versions of the blessing over bread.  What's one more language when you're already tri-lingual?  Unknown to us at the time, the house was about to blessed in another way as well: the house kitty gave birth to four totally adorable little kittens overnight!

Copyright 2011 Cyndi Lavin. Not to be reprinted, resold, or redistributed for profit. May be printed out for personal use or distributed electronically provided that entire file, including this notice, remains intact.

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Thank you for sharing your Guatemala travelogue, Cyndi.

Don't you just love those fruit and vegetable markets? I'll never tire of those.

The soup pictures make my mouth water. Did the kids like it?
Cyndi L said…
Yeah, they did Eileen! But then, they like everything...I've never seen kids eat like these kids can. Making up for earlier deprivation.
Cherie said…
I really enjoy those markets too. And the pictures are so gorgeous.
Linette said…
Cyndi~ You have some beautiful photos (and I'm sure memories) here, thanks for sharing!