I finally made it to Gracias Lempira. It's a beautiful Spanish Colonial town with quiet cobblestone streets, a central park with a coffee shop, multiple churches and even an old fort. Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon strolling around in the countryside.Read More
It was to be a quiet week when suddenly, out of the blue, a message came in that the President, Juan Orlando Hernandez (JOH as the press refers to him) was coming to visit in 48 hours. An exciting couple of days ended with a successful event and once the dust settled, everything went back to "normal."Read More
I have a new-found respect for the national dish of Honduras -- the Baleada
I didn't understand the draw to the national dish of Honduras, the Baleada. I've had them made for me and I've made them myself, but the giant flour tortilla with mashed (refried) beans, eggs, cheese, chorizo, avocado and crema (not-so-sour cream). Well, that's my chosen pile of ingredients for a good baleada. It was about two years of shunning the national dish, thinking it was one plate of calories I could successfully avoid.
But it all changed the morning I was early for my flight to the US a few months ago and decided to stop at Baleadas Express to give it a try. A baleada made with fresh tortillas and ingredients, made in the moment was the tipping point. I was hooked. Now when I'm early a baleada stop is a must. But you don't need to go to the airport because Baleadas Express is a chain seen all over the city. So, give it a try and enjoy the treat, if you haven't already.
I haven't been home -- I mean home to my legal US residence in about a year and a half. I haven't slept in my own bed, taken a shower in my own shower, cooked on a gas stove using copper core pots and pans in 18 months.
Sure, I'll be in Vegas tomorrow with colleagues and peers from all over the world for a few days, but then I will be off across the country to Virginia where the familiarity of language, friends and work of a different kind is waiting for me before heading south to Florida for a few nights with family and let's not forget -- my Stone Crab fix for the year.
My trip to Virginia has more to it than just going home, eating copious amounts of Asian-inspired food, seeing friends and family. No, this is a trip about moving on. I am going to put my house on the market and who knows what's next?
This is my home when in Tegucigalpa. It's difficult to say anything negative about it other than it could use some love. It's got the most incredible views and waking up and walking into this kitchen is a pretty incredible way to start the day, right? I had a mad shopping spree to try to make the kitchen one that any of us can walk into and use, although most corporate travelers aren't much for cooking so I didn't go nuts. What inspires me about this kitchen are the windows. It needs a small table. For those food bloggers out there, can you imagine the light for photos in here? :)
Speaking of food ... lunch at the Creperie at the mall our office is located in isn't much to write home about, but this Honduran style breakfast-inspired crepe was pretty darn good. I'll go again, but will ask for about 30 seconds less time on the egg.
I took a colleague to Omoa last weekend and we made a stop at the fort. There is always something to see there from another vantage point and this cannon struck me. I suspect this fort is mostly a renovated site, especially when I spotted a few, "original fort" structures, but the artifacts are certainly authentic.
I know these photos are random. I'm getting ready to head to the airport and haven't posted very consistently in the past year or so and know that if I don't get to it now, it's not happening. For a "writer," life sure knows how to get in the way, doesn't it?
In the midst of all this randomness, it's time for me to get ready to fly off to the US. A few days in Vegas for business and then a week at home. I suspect I am going to feel closed in. The places I am so darn lucky to spend my time in Honduras are enormous by comparison and for that I am thankful. Not only for the luxury and comfort, but because it will mean giving up the place I worked so hard to earn the money to buy will not be quite so difficult to give up to someone else. My home and almost all that is inside it's four walls has some kind of sentimental value and that will be the most difficult thing of all to lock the door on.
But life goes on and these are material things, some of which I am going to try to arrange to ship down here, but the rest will be memories and that is the reason taking all these photos and writing is so valuable. If not for others to read, then for me to reflect on at some time in the future.
When I'm here there are things I miss about the US. When I'm in the US there are things I miss about Honduras. On my way out this afternoon I am planning a stop at the famed Baleadas Express. Because I can make a Shrimp Tortilla or a steaming hot pot of Tortilla Soup, but a Baleada is the dish of Honduras and you just can't get it quite the same in Reston, Virginia. A Baleada is a hand-made flour tortilla with any one or more of a number of items. I opt for the Huevos, Frijoles, Chorizo, Manetquilla, Aguacate y Queso. Que rico!
See you in the US!
If you've been following along you know that after our work was done last week, a couple of us took a day to explore two towns outside of Tegucigalpa -- Santa Lucia and Valle de Angeles. I've been hearing and reading about them since I moved here and have wanted to make the trip out to see them for myself. In my last post I wrote about the churches and the tile roofs and the crafts and the cultural center in San Juancito and only just a little about the food, Chancho Guindado, for one.Read More
Chancho is a Honduran word -- it's used to say, Pig. This cut, the leg of the animal is the same as we would probably call Ham in the US, but well, Ham is not something I am well versed on, except to say I like it -- I just haven't baked it or roasted it or smoked it or ... well, you get the idea.Read More
I spent last week with co-workers in the Capital, Tegucigalpa. I love that city and was happy to be there in the cool mountain air for 6 days. We weren't 40 minutes down the road, headed back to San Pedro when someone turned the heat back on. We stepped out of the car to investigate the supposed "Best" Chicharones in the area at what turned out to be a kind of culinary "rest stop" (with no gas station) and the heat hit us like a shockwave.Read More
The ancient Maya may have been wrong about the end of the world 11 months ago, but today, just one day before the Presidential election in Honduras, preparations are happening as though the world is coming to an end tomorrow. Well, at my house, anyway.Read More
I've been here 1 year, 11 months and 1 week and aside from family, friends and my independence, I really miss just a few food items. One of those is corned beef. And not just corned beef for a sandwich. I've been craving corned beef hash and a poached egg for breakfast. My father and my sister like making this for breakfast on the weekend so I've had occasion to eat it in the past couple of years, but I want the ability to make it for myself.Read More
I like going to the movies. In the US it's a common form of entertainment for me. I prefer to go during the day when no one, or very few are doing the same thing. Having to battle for seats and peace and quiet while watching an $11 or $12 movie, not including the outrageous cost of popcorn and a drink is not my idea of a relaxing break from reality. So a daytime flick is my idea of fun.Read More
There are days when being an expat is filled with a crazy amount of emotions -- Happiness, Sorrow, Frustration and Confusion, to name a few. Some days all the emotions come toppling out at once, but tonight my day ended with one emotion -- Humor.Read More