So the other night we were making gouda fondue, yes, you read correctly, gouda fondue, and we went to the store to get some cornstarch, an essential ingredient. Oddly enough it turns out they sell cornstarch in single serving packages. It’s fortified with vitamins because it’s meant to be drunk, yes as a beverage. Apparently it is a common baby meal, and any other type of person meal, to have a glass of watery cornstarch. Can anyone out there confirm that this makes sense? I mean, I understand that starches are probably good for you, and they have a lot of corn here so heaven knows cornstarch is easy to come by, but still. They sell it in the aisle with baby formula. The fondue still turned out great.
In other news, we received a bunch of new furnishings for our apartment. A few of the volunteers who are leaving in the coming weeks sold us some stuff for cheap and then gave us another bunch of stuff for free. So we now have a huge new bookshelf, a beautiful cedar table for the kitchen, more chairs, a t.v. and DVD player and a spice cabinet (along with about 80 new spices). Later this week we’ll also be getting a couch and modem. All of this for the price of $165 US dollars. Granted the stuff is used but still, dirt cheap. Thank you Grandma for the money you sent, it covered a good portion as you can see J We’re still waiting to get a stove and fridge in another 3 weeks when the other volunteers leave.
We heard that no new volunteers from the next group are coming to La Esperanza, which is kind of sad. We won’t have any site mates to hang out with regularly. I guess that just means we’ll have to travel more J
We were in Teguz this past Monday and Tuesday. I went to the dentist so the Peace Corps paid for my part of the trip (my teeth are A-OK). We splurged by going to a fancy sandwich place near the office which set us back 300 lemps (15 dollars) for a delicious sandwich of salami, pepperoni, olives, feta and oil and vinegar with homemade potato chips. It was worth it. You can’t get sandwiches like that just anywhere. The weirdest thing was, the restaurant looked like it belonged in NYC, chic and polished with trendy décor. We forgot we were Honduras for a minute. We also splurged on a trip to Mas por Menos, a grocery store (we think maybe owned by Wal-Mart unfortunately, or perhaps Costco) which sells imported items from America, including Kirkland brand items. We bought Nestle chocolate chips, real parmesan cheese, canned pumpkin, Campbell’s tomato soup and they even had Celestial Seasonings Nutcracker Sweet Tea, our favorite! It was unbelievable; we were like kids in a candy store.
Of course the happiness of the trip came to an end when I had my phone stolen near the bus station heading home. No worries, it was a nonviolent, non premeditated attack. Some random guy just ran up as we were getting out of our cab and reached into my pocket. It was sheer luck that my phone, and only my phone, happened to be in there. He just ran off. The funny part is that here, none of the bystanders care. In the US, someone else probably would have run after the guy and caught him. Here, no one even seemed to notice. Luckily, the cell phone companies here are used to dealing with this sort of thing, so a quick phone call later and my number and money that I had on the card were saved, I just had to get a new phone. We basically were told in training that your phone will probably be stolen at least once, so just be prepared. At least it’s out of the way and in probably the safest way possible. We’ll just be more careful next time.
So aside from the stolen phone, we’ve had a pretty good (but expensive) week. We’re not sure you’re supposed to live this well in the Peace Corps.