Hour-long life-stories don't happen very often here but when they do I've noticed that the people in the church respond to them with varying degrees of disinterest. Some sit in mock rapt attention but communicate with their neighbors through glances and gestures to pass the time. Others dose off, wake up and dose off again when they see that we're still talking about tamales and favorite beige dresses, while still others clench their fists, grit their teeth and repeatedly check their watches hoping that these subtle cues will let the person up front know that the charade has gone on long enough. But my boys? My boys, like most normal honduran youth in their situation, like to take the opportunity to dress up like James Brown.
Even Konrad got in on the ActAfter church we went to Marla's and had a massive midnight meal - that's the 2nd in 2 weeks if you're keeping count. There were fireworks, loud music and general carousing....next door, we just listened and ate as much as we could stomach without getting sick. And to top it off we had a midnight toast with Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice (Konrad and I substituted Lambrusco for the Welch's; we thought we were being downright naughty but it turns out there isn't much difference). I went to bed ridiculously late and woke up in much the same state as I had lain down in; full, groggy and contented, with no desire to even think about food.
Exhausted from EatingIt was New Year's Day though and the unthinkable had to be done...I had 5 lbs of pork and sauerkraut in the fridge and it wasn't going to cook itself. You see, there are some fellow Mennonite types about 3 hours away in San Pedro Sula. They are also serving with EMM on a YES Team, studying Spanish in San Pedro before heading off to Venezuela where they will be serving for about 6 months. Konrad Swartz, my trusty sidekick, knows these people fairly well and there had been talk of them coming to visit us here in La Ceiba over the New Year holiday. We thought to ourselves, Konrad and me, we thought: we'd sure like some good old fashioned pork and sauerkraut with mashed potatoes, apple sauce and hot dogs to ring in the 1st of January and we bet that our fellow Mennonites would appreciate a good Pa Dutch meal like that too. So we went out and bought enough food for 7 people plus leftovers and waited giddily for the arrival of our exalted guests. They never showed. Not without warning mind you, they sent us a note letting us know that their Honduran handlers had suddenly changed their plans without consulting them and that they wouldn't be able to visit us over the New Year. We were devastated - Konrad even cried a little. What were going to do with all of this food? We couldn't possibly invite Hondurans as they tend to find pickled cabbage laddled over pork and mashed potatoes something akin to eating out of the trashcan and usually respond with gags, contorted faces and requests to be excused to the nearest toilet. Then I remembered, I have Gringo friends that like sauerkraut and though they might be hippy Calfornians they still might want to get all Pa Dutchy with us. They did and it was wonderful; Konrad and I spent the day cooking and basting and baking and at just the right hour we all sat down, with some Honduran company thrown in for laughs, to a glorious meal replete with brownies and coffee for dessert. The only thing that could have made it more like home would have been to have the Girio family dancing to Motown in the kitchen while they did the dishes...Nelson did our dishes and he does not dance.
We also did one of my favorite New Year's traditions, Ear Irrigation!
That's all for this post. Hope you had a lovely New Year's holiday over a steaming plate sauerkraut. Peace!