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Next Time, Pack a Lunch!

chellbellding Thu, 02/07/2008 - 13:09

My full Friday of service has been a VERY interesting experience. The service have been amazing.... from an adventerous standpoint its been fun to ride the bus to the middle of nowhere and trek thru the little communities to our studies. I'd never ever before pictured myself living this kind of life, but it's been fun... and the results of my efforts have made it well worth it.

I must say that I have been a little less careful about the things that I eat and drink down here as Paola and I had been the first time. See, the thing is that, as careful as you are.... if you're going to be eating out... especially in the little tiny towns where someone has a plastic table and 2 chairs set up in front of their house where they make lunch and sell it for $1.50.... chances are they're not worried about the extra drops of tap water that's still on your plate before they spoon you a nice heaping serving of rice, beans and chicken....

So, I figured that I might as well let my body adjust to the water... the sooner the better. This isn't to say that I'm not careful at all.... there are times when I won't drink the water... like if there is no running water, only what they have stored in a barrel... That stuff won't make it past my lips... but I must admit that I have on occasion drunk water, non-boiled, from the tap. Call me crazy.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!CRAZY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes I know. haha Well, anyway.... this is all just working up to the fact that you just appreciate that you HAVE water, and food. It wasn't until I left the United States did I realize what food snobs we are. If there was the tiniest thing wrong with your plate at a resteraunt, you give it back.... and they take it, and throw it away, and make you a new one. Whew. If you tried to send back a plate of food because you found a rock in your beans, or one of those little green worms that like to hide in your broccoli. They would just laugh at you.... actually laughing would be nice. They'd probably give you a really dirty look. SO... point being, my 'standards' of food consumption has definately decreased since I left the US.

Last week, however, I hit a whole new level. The first time I ever ate fish, with it's head still in tact, eyeballs staring back at you.... and picking through the bones... this happened in Mexico, then again in Belize. Eating fish with the head still attached weirds me out enough as it is.... actually I've gotten over that part pretty good. ( I still won't eat the eyeball tho, even though everyone says it's the best part! ) But I've never seen the fish cleaned and gutted..... I used to go fishing when I was a kid, with my dad.... but I was a kid, and he never showed me when he cleaned the fish. So I wasn't prepared.

Last Friday, Patricia and I were finishing a study with a girl named Marlinda. We were sitting outside, Patricia and I on two plastic chairs underneith a big tree that was holding the hammock that Marlinda was sitting in. We just finished our first study in the Bible Teach book. As we were wrapping up, a man came by the house, yelled something out to another woman who came out took a bucket of fish out of his hands and dumped it into the outdoor sink/scrub board thing. Mind you, this is the same scrub board that they wash their clothes, wash their dishes, and wash their babies....hmmm. After Patricia and I finished the study we went over to Marlinda's mother who was gutting the fish. BLECH!! She SLICED down the gut, she stuck her bare fingers in there and ripped out the intestines and tossed them into the sink. Fish blood. Ew. Patricia asks me "Do you like fish??" I'm like "Yeeah..." I do like fish.... or at least, I used to. But, I didn't want to sound too excited... I didn't know why Patricia was asking and you NEVER know what these Nica's could come up with. The fish were fresh from the ocean, about 30 minutes away... Patricia asks the lady how much would she sell them for. 2 fish for C$50... that's like $2.60US. But I'm thinking to myself OH MY GOODNESS....It's 12 o'clock in the afternoon, and we are 30 minutes from the house... AND we have at least 3 more studies to do. I'm just imagining Patricia carrying around a bag of fish with us for the next 4 hours in the hot sun. UGH. And then she reaches for her money... she's going to buy it!!! I'm like NOOOOoOoooooOOooOo.... How can you explain to these people that eating pinapple at 8 o'clock at night won't give you the flu, but that carrying around a bag of fish in the heat of the day and eating it at night ISN'T GOOD!?!?!

So she buys the fish, and we say goodbye and leave. The whole time I'm just thinking WHAT IN THE WORLD is she going to do with those fish???? So finally in a joking way I ask if she's going to carry around the fish for the rest of the day. She laughs "Of course not!" HUH!? "Then what are you going to do with them?" "Just watch, it's a surprise!" she says. Surprise?? I'll say... I had NO idea what she was scheming. We go to the little venta and buy some chicken bollion, then we walk to a house that neither of us had studies at.... "HOLAAA!!" she calls out. A young girl came out of the house, the daughter of one of Patricia's studies.... she was visiting her grandmother.... "Can we cook lunch here?" HAHAHAHA I almost died. So... they threw the fish into the sink, cleaned the scales off... chopped the head off... seasoned it with chicken bolluion and fried it up. Slapped it on a plate with some white rice and sliced tomatoes..... MMMmmmm lunch! Was that ever good!!! How often do you buy raw food so far from home, and just pop over to someone else's house to cook it? But it was sooo fresh and wicked tasty. I never cease to be amazed down here.

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