Friday, December 25, 2009

'Twas the night before Christmas and I was eating crackers...again...

I have never had this many stomach viruses in my life. Thanks, Guatemala.

Merry Christmas Everyone.

And now for the ever-so classic SPANGLISH 'twas the night before Christmas:

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring - ¡Caramba! ¿Qué pasa?

Los niños were tucked away in their camas,
Some in long underwear, some in pijamas,
While hanging the stockings with mucho cuidado,
In hopes that old Santa would feel obligado,
To bring all children, both buenos and malos,
A nice batch of dulces and other regalos.

Outside in the yard there arose un gran grito,
and I jumped to my feet like a frightened cabrito.
I ran to the window and looked out afuera,
And who in the world do you think that it era?

Saint Nick in a sleigh and a big red sombrero,
Came dashing along like a loco bombero.
And pulling his sleigh instead of venados,
Were eight little burros approaching volando.

I watched as they came and this quaint little hombre,
Was shouting and whistling and calling by nombre:
"Ay Pancho, ay Pepe, ay Cuco, ay Beto,
ay Chato, ay Chopo, Maruco, y Nieto!"

Then standing erect with his hands on his pecho,
He flew to the top of our very own techo,
With his round little belly like a bowl of jalea,
He struggled to squeeze down our old chiminea.

Then huffing and puffing at last in our sala,
With soot smeared all over his red suit de gala,
He filled all the stockings with lively regalos,
None for the ninos that had been very malos.

Then chuckling aloud, seeming very contento,
He turned like a flash and was gone como el viento,
And I heard him exclaim, y ¡esto es verdad!

Merry Christmas to all, ¡y Feliz Navidad!


Friday, December 18, 2009


The age old questions: Which is better - Coca-cola or Pepsi-cola?

Everyone has their answer and their own personal opinions about taste to back it up. For me the answer is Coke. It's classic and to me, Pepsi tastes too much like sugar syrup.

Unfortunately, Guatemala is Pepsi country. The vast majority of restaurants here serve Pepsi, most of the ads I've seen are for Pepsi, etc. Sad times for Miss Kelly.

The newest Pepsi product to hit Guatemala is Pepsi Kick. From what I understand Pepsi Kick is an energy drink version of the soda (as if soda didn't already have a good amount of caffeine in it). There have been Pepsi Kick promotions all over the place. Weird commercials on TV and even weirder street team promoters.

I few weeks ago I was waiting for my taxi outside of my work on a Friday evening. It was about 8pm, so the drinking was already getting into full swing - and since my work is across the street from a few bars, I was witnessing the beginnings of Friday night mayhem. As I'm observing, a Pepsi Kick truck pulls up in front of a crowd of party-goers waiting to get into the bars. The sides of the truck were clear plastic and inside were two scantily clad females ready to hand out free samples of the new energy drink AND..... drum roll please.... a mariachi band.

Now the slogan of Pepsi Kick in Latin America is "Despierta!!" (meaning "wake up!")... and trust me, nothing wakes you up quite like a mariachi band. Needless to say, I had a good laugh and some decent entertainment while I was waiting for my ride.

And now to leave you with some very strange Pepsi Kick advertisements...

These were two of my favorites...but there are plenty more to watch. Gotta love Latino insanity.

Oh, and no - I haven't tried Pepsi Kick... I'm sticking to coffee, thanks.

*This and the next few posts will be based on my experiences within the past month or so. I'm behind on the times, but I don't want you all to miss out on the Guate fun. *

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanks You! (or how the security guard made my day)

So I live in a gate- community. Sounds fancy, but it's not really. It's just plain necessary in order to be semi-safe in this entirely unsafe country. So we have a gate that is guarded by our nice security guys with big bad guns (seriously, these guns are huge). The security guards know me now ... at first I got weird looks since I am most definitely the ONLY gringa in our pueblo. But now they know I'm here to stay.

When I have to take a taxi home from work sans the man, sometimes some of the newer security guards stop my taxi to ask questions. This recently happened with one new security guard and one of my favorite security guards who definitely knows who I am. The newbie stopped the taxi and looked at me and asked: "What's your last name?" "J___" I responded, glancing over at my security buddy. He was grinning like he wanted to laugh. I paused before saying quickly, "But I live with the B____ family." My security buddy's grin got bigger - he was obviously enjoying the entertainment - since he could've easily told the newbie hey, she's cool. Let her pass. The newbie nodded when he hear the man's last name. As the taxi driver was pulling into the community, I heard my security buddy call after, "THANKS YOU!"

BEST THING EVER. I've never heard him speak English before which makes this extra adorable. He was already my favorite security guard and now he has no chance of losing that position. :o)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Round One: Transportation

**Since I've been working like a machine lately, I haven't had a lot of time to write posts. So I've decided to write some short posts about the differences between Guatemala City and Santiago. This is Round One of the Smackdown.**

ahh, public transportation... One of my favorite topics EVER. (that was actually NOT sarcasm, by the way). So let's see how Guate and Stgo measure up...

As you read in previous posts, Guatemala's public transportation system has some serious problems. There is no subway (big bummer) and the buses are interesting to say the least. The alternative to the buses are taxis. Taxis aren't exactly safe either though. Taxi drivers will rob you - whether it's just scamming you into paying more or by threat and force. Walking isn't much of an option either. Ask any Guatemalan and they will tell you that nowhere is safe. So what's your option? Stay at home, locked into your little safe haven and pretend the scary Guatemala doesn't exist? Yeah, you get hungry eventually.

And then there is Santiago with Transantiago. Subway - check. Although overcrowded at times and with it's fair share of pick pockets, the metro system is clean and consistent. The metro stops are even pretty, with artwork and such. Now, I have to admit that I didn't really take the bus all that often in Stgo. But the few times that I did, everything went smoothly (expecially in hindsight now that I've experienced lovely Guate buses). Taxis in Santiago will try to swindle you, especially if you're a foreigner - but I always felt like I could handle those situations. Oh and you can walk (imagine that!). I walked home alone numerous times late at night (gasp!) and all was well.

Ding! Ding! And the winner of the first round is..... SANTIAGO (duh).

Yeah, that's right, Stgo, I gave you an easy one for the first round... don't expect every win to be that easy....

Stay tuned for Round Two.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The Gring@ tax

All Latin American countries seem to have this wonderful thing called "the gring@ tax."* This is when you are charged above normal prices for things only because you are a gring@. Guatemala is no exception.

Generally I'm always accompanied by the man (yes, I miss my independence, but have an escort everywhere is a good thing here where armed robbery is frequent), but lately I have had to take a taxi home alone since the man gets out an hour later from work. We had been lucky in finding a cool cat taxi driver to drive me home. He is nice and friendly to me without being inappropriate. And most importantly, he charges me a reasonable price for the ride. Unfortunately his taxi had to go into the shop at the end of the week and he was unable to drive me home. The man called another taxi driver who he promised was good also (he had caught a ride with him before and the charge was fair**).

Here's where the gring@ tax comes in. The charge was fair for HIM, the Chapin, the Guatemalteco ... This does not mean I - the redheaded gringa - will have the same luck. When the taxi driver got to my house I handed him a 100Q bill. The driver's response was " oh I'm sooo sorry. Pardon me! But I don't have ANY change! I left it all at home!" This was accompanied by a large grin. Obviously the man had made sure I would be charged a low fare, but since my Chapin escort was not with me the rules had changed. Of course the taxi driver assumed he could rip me off with his sad story of having no change at all. PUH-LEASE. He had change, the little liar. My response to his little show, "OK wait" - Kelly digs through her purse and comes up with exactly 35Q - "Here ya go!" The taxi driver's face just fell as he said, "Oh thanks. I'm sorry for the bother."

HA, sucker! Thought I would give you 65Q more than I was supposed to?!!? Guess again, dummy!

Needless to say, I will never call this driver again. And I informed the man that he is a very bad judge of character.

*gring@ is being used as gender neutral. So it means gringo or gringa. got it?

**In case you're wondering... No, there are no meters in the taxis here. It's purely based on what the driver wants to charge you. So when taking a taxi in Guate, ask for the fare BEFORE you get into the car!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

no more peliroja????

Sooo I might have to change the title of this blogs because there is a good chance that I won't be la peliroja (the redhead) for that much longer. Say what??!? Yes, that's right... I'm considering dying my hair. OK make that more than considering... I actually purchased hair dye today (it was onsale...I couldnt say no).

I've always said that I would never dye my hair... I love my red hair and the uniqueness of it. But it makes me stick out WAY too much in this country. I also stuck out a lot in Chile, but I never felt like this fact put me in any danger. In Guatemala, I feel like I need to play down my gringa-ness as much as possible so that I wont make myself more of a target for robbery. And since robberies here tend to involve firearms.... yeaaaahhh.

I feel like I should have the experience of dying my hair once in my life at least. And now I have a legit excuse for changing my lovely red locks for something a little bit more common - BROWN.

The man is excited about it (much more than I am... I'm a little more freaked out). Of course, he wanted me to dye my hair BLACK... I said no. I dont want to look emo, gothic, or like a walking corpse. So I bought a color called "Rubio Cenizo Oscuro." I have no idea what this means or how it will turn out! I'll probably give it a shot next weekend... so you all have a week to talk me out of this!!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The darkside of buses in Chapinlandia

This is part 2 of my experiences in Guatemalan public transportation. (read part 1)

The buses, despite the brightly colored exteriors and the steady pulse of reggaeton playing from within, are not always so cheerful and a perfect example of crime and violence in Guatemala City.

A few weeks ago, we were out running an errand (buying a new shower head so the poor gringa could have a hot shower) and we got a ride back home with el suegro. As we got closer to the house, traffic started to back up big time. While sitting in the stop and go traffic, el suegro leaned out the window to ask the opposite traffic what had happened. There was an "accident" involving a bus. "Accident" -- meaning the bus was robbed. What bus number? Number 75. Ours. The bus route we take almost everyday.

The next day on the front page of the paper was a gruesome photo of the bus driver and his assistant (the guy who collects the money when it's super busy) shot dead on the floor of the bus. Apparently, some guys had demanded money from the driver - and he had refused. The worst part about this experience for me (aside from the fact that this was MY bus route) was that I recognized the face of the driver. I'd ridden on his bus many times. I knew a US flag hung from the ceiling of the bus and that the assistant was a persistent flirt with all the young ladies. The driver was 21, and the assistant was 16.

This is most definitely NOT an isolated incident here in Guatemala. Bus driver deaths happen frequently (which makes me wonder WHY anyone would want to be a bus driver). Most people here are numb to this fact. They are constantly afraid of what might happen while riding a bus, but they also think of it as a fact of life. Thieves and gang members rob buses, people get killed, items are stolen, people are hurt. Welcome to life. End of story. I can't get used to this way of thinking ... but I guess it's easy to think this way when this has been the reality for your whole life.

Count your blessings, folks. Things could be worse. And that statement definitely applies to my situation too.

(you'll be happy to know that the shooters involved in the bus incident were caught shortly after the shooting. They ran, but the po-po have cars - imagine that!)

((to friends and family -- I'm not writing this to scare you. In fact, I almost didn't publish this post at all. But this is what happens here and I'm not going to hide it from anyone. Just know that I'm very careful when I have to go to work or anywhere else in the city.)

Monday, October 26, 2009

It's Monday: pass me the alcohol and let's pass out on the sidwalk

So here in Guatemala, the land of classy-ness, some people go to extremes to get a buzz. Ok, that's an understatement. By buzz I really mean, GET WASTED. Instead of just buying a small cheap bottle of some disgusting vodka or whiskey (as the bums in the states do), people here choose to go with the ever-so flavorful rubbing alcohol. Mmm Mmm. Sounds delish, don't it? I imagine drinking rubbing alcohol would taste like drinking fire? maybe? I know I would totally be willing to painfully burn my throat in order to get drunk (sarcasm, people, sarcasm).

Today we walked past two shoeless individuals passed out on the sidewalk with some empty bottles of rubbing alcohol next to them. The were there last week too and they will probably be there again tomorrow. This is sadly, a typical sight.

Please, Guatemala, buy yourself a nice bottle of Chilean wine, enjoy it (and it's non-throat burning quality), and then pass out at home in your nice comfy bed. Salud!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The bright-side of buses in Chapinlandia

One of my favorite things to talk about is public transportation...I haven't had a car in almost 2 years, so public transportation is a part of my everyday life. Washington DC has a great public transportation system (complain all you want, DCians, you've got it good). Although I do wish the metro was a little less drab and depressing. Santiago also has a great public transportation system (despite what Santiago residents might tell you). It's cheap, pretty consistent, and has pretty artwork at the metro stops (yay! DC, please take notes)

And then there is Guatemala. The public transportation system here is awful.

First, there is no subway. OK, fine. Plenty of cities have no subway. So we have to rely on buses. ahh, the buses of Guatemala city... how to describe them? They are like traditional US yellow school buses - redecorated by the bus owner in order to add some... character? maybe? The buses on my line are generally painted red, but I've also seen some blues and greens out there. Many buses have religious inspired paintings on them (Jesus watching over the bus or some saying like "God is love"). The buses usually have names like Princesita or Josefina painted on the front of them (apparently all the buses are women and ita (tiny)). The insides of the buses are decorated with flags (Guatemalan and oddly enough, US flags), stickers, and old stuffed animals. And the best ones are.... the buses. that BLAST. REGGAETON. Oh yes, buses are like rolling dance clubs (even more similar with the help of overcrowding and foul body odor). I don't know about you, but there is NOTHING I want to hear more at 6am on my way to work than dame mas gasoliiiiinaaaa.

Then there is the crowdedness (and this is why they are so fondly referred to as "chicken buses"). Much like the old yellow micros in Santiago used to work, bus drivers in Guatemala earn money based on the number of passengers. So naturally they try to cram on as many people as possible. Gringos, throw your personal-space-bubbles out the window please. Once all the sits are filled, people begin to to find a spot to stand in the aisle. Always stand as close to the seats as possible because if you're standing in the middle of the aisle, the bus driver will yell at you to keep walking back (always with a polite por favor and "Sorry to bother you). Once the aisle is full, people begin to fill the steps at the front and back doors. And I mean fill. As long as you can hold onto the bars along the outside of the door - it doesn't matter if your body is completely outside of the bus. Just don't expect the driver to drive less recklessly for your benefit.

In order to get from the zona where I work back to our pueblo the bus must travel up up up a "mountain" (or so-called by Guatemalans. To me, it's a small hill - somewhere between the size of Cerro San Cristobal and Cerro Santa Lucia is Santiago) and then down down down the other side. On one side of the hill, they - wisely - made "elbows" in the road so that it winds back and forth up the hill (although the buses have a difficult time making those sharp turns, and often slow traffic for the cars in order to do so). On the other side though, the road is a straight shot. This caused an issue one morning when going to work... the bus, jam packed with people and engine weezing like asmatic, was chugging up straight up the hill... it almost almost made it to the top. But, alas, the little engine could NOT. So we had to roll all the way back down to the bottom to try again. (All was well though, the poor exhausted bus made it up on the second try).

Coming soon: The Dark-side of buses in Chapinlandia ... stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


But first a run through of the days that I've been missing in action ....

- dodged drunken Guatemalan rockers and raindrops, then smuggled cigarettes into an Enrique Bunbury concert

- started working at a language academy and I've had some amusing conversations with my students.

- cursed the public transportation system repeatedly... then stopped and cursed the government of Guatemala for not doing anything about the horrid situation here.

All there are blog worthy, BUT there is way more important news.... PERLA HAD HER PUPPIES!!

So far there are two. I say "so far" because we think there might be one more coming... ack!

They're so super tiny....

Aaaand we tired to make a video. The lighting is pretty bad and since Perla and her puppies are black.... errr, yeah. We managed to get a video with a decent amount of movement so that you can pick see the puppies a bit, rather than just a black blob.

Ahahaha, she gets stuck! Poor girl.

Edit: aaaaand there is a third one. Fourth? hmm? maybe?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Photo Wednesday: The Braid Experiment

This is how my lovely profile picture came to be... haha.

And just for kicks..... the dogs again. :o)

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Hot and Cold of taking a shower

As I've previously mentioned, we "live without" in many ways. This is compared to my cushy-US-lifestyle -- because, let's be serious, there are people out there with much tougher lives than me. Since I grew up with having access to a shower with good water pressure and no lack of hot water, my shower situation now is a little shocking.

Let me describe. We have a strange nozzle for a shower head. There is a switch on the shower head for either cold, warm, or hot. I enjoy my hot showers, so I turn the switch to hot and then turn on the water. If you turn the water on full blast (meaning wonderful water pressure), you will only get freezing cold water (even if the switch is on "hot"). But, if you slowly turn the water down down down... until the nozzle starts making a "gurgling sound" .... then you will get hot water... and no water pressure. That's all good though. I can handle that. I will take my hot water, and forfeit my water pressure.

Oh wait, the fun doesn't stop there. This lovely shower head decided to - how should I put it? hmmm- uh, crap out. So now I have one choice only: freezing cold shower. I just can't do it. How do people live without hot water? I know plenty of people around the world do it, but geeeeez. They're all much stronger than me.

Now I did have a brief experience with no-hot-water when I was living in Chile. I suffered through by boiling hot water, pouring it into a bowl, and then washing my hair in the bowl. Awkward, but it worked.

I mentioned this water-boiling solution to the man as well as my absolute aversion to taking cold showers. He says "OK" and immediately goes to fill a bucket full of water. I watch him curiously because (A) the bucket is being filled with cold water (obviously) and (B) a plastic bucket cannot be heated on the stove. Then he grabbed a long cord with a oddly shaped orange contraption on the end. He places this thing in the bucket and then plugs the other end of the cord into an outlet. "Don't touch anything," he says. "I'll tell you when it's ready." A little while later, he carefully disconnects the cord and removes the orange dealy from the bucket. "Hot water."

And indeed it was hot water. And plenty of it to wash my massive amounts of (red!) hair. Oh you clever little guatemalans! (although, is risking electrocution really worth hot water?)

Seriously though, can't we just fix the shower head? (says the spoiled gringa)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cooking with Kelly: Cheesy Bacon Potato Soup

Sorry that I've been lazy about writing posts for the past few days. I've been busy with a few job leads (yay!), so all my energies have been focused on that. I have also been cooking a lot. I've made cilantro-lime rice, Kelly style chopped salad, red rice and chorizo, and more! I've mentioned my cooking adventures to a few people and have gotten some recipe requests. So todays post will be an awesome foodie post.

If you know anything about my eating habits and addictions, you know that I love baked potatoes. I'm talking a baked potato with the works: butter, cheese (usually cheddar), sour cream, etc. Yes, it's exceptionally unhealthy, but it tastes oh so good.

Unfortunately, I don't have an oven or a microwave for making my awesome potato goodness. So I have to be more creative.

One of my favorite things to cook is soup. I think I like the fact that there is a lot of knife work involved -- chopping veggies is oddly relaxing for me. Within the soup category I tend to make classic chicken soup a lot, as well as Chicken Tortilla soup (an awesomely zippy tomato and chicken broth concoction topped with cheese, avocado, and tortilla chips).

Today I had a craving for a baked potato with the works -- so I decided to branch out with my soup making and have a try at Cheesy Bacon Potato Soup. And man oh man was it successful. And now, I'm sharing the goodness with you!

*please keep in mind that I tend to "eye" things a lot when cooking. So a lot of the measurements here I'm just guessing at. Just listen to your gut :o) *

4-5 medium to small potatoes thinly sliced
4-5 leeks chopped (depending on size of leeks)
4-6 pieces of bacon
water - enough to just barely cover the potatoes
2 chicken bouillon cubes
8 oz Velveeta cheese (or something of the sort.. Velveeta is a little expensive in Guate, so I used something similar but more reasonably priced)
1 cup of cream (I guess this would be heavy cream ... I got mine from a corner store where you ask for crema and get cream in a small plastic baggy tied in a knot at the top. You could probably also use sour cream, although that would give it a slightly different flavor ... possibly more "sour" haha)

Slice potatoes and put in pot. Fill pot with water to just cover the sliced potatoes. Add chicken bouillon. Boil potatoes until soft (do not throw out the broth). While the potatoes are boiling, fry the bacon and set aside. Do not discard the bacon grease, use the same pan to quickly fry the chopped leeks (I added a little butter to the pan as well). Add the leeks to the potatoes and broth. Mash the potatoes in the pot along with the broth and the onions (I wish I had one of those mashed potato mashers, but I managed to get the job done with a spoon and knife) Stir cheese and then stir in the cream. Chop bacon and stir into soup. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!

Let me know how it goes if you try out the recipe!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Photo Wednesday: The Pregnancy

As requested (and because I'm too tired to write a real entry today)....

Pregnant Perla!

And evidence that Terry is indeed and evil evil little chihuahua (and he is actually smaller than Perla and has a girly-er bark -- both of which I find funny)...

Look close. There are two bite marks; one on the left wrist and the other on the right arm. Don't worry though, the man is fine - though slightly bruised at the moment.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The case of the monster-fridge

So I went through a pretty nasty case of food poisoning about a week ago. I got food poisoning about two weeks after moving to Chile as well - so it seems to be a pattern. Maybe that's how long it takes my body to realize the food is different and react negatively, or maybe it's just an odd coincidence. This time I figured out that the culprit was the pork made for a BBQ for B's birthday. Now, pork is a dangerous meat since, as many people say, pigs are dirty animals. I, however, do not blame the pig. I blame the refrigerator.

My suegro (father-in-law) had the interesting idea of buying a cheaper fridge to save some money. OK OK, not a bad idea. The problem is that this cheaper fridge is not your normal kitchen fridge. It's one of those soda display fridges that people put in their mini-marts, which also tend to consume a ridiculous amount of energy. Buy cheaper fridge, spend super duper amounts on the electric bill.... hmmmm. Ever the money-saver, el suegro decides to periodically unplug the fridge throughout the day. Lovely! Keep the fridge monster from eating all the electricity while making the temperature in the fridge fluctuate throughout the day. Food gone bad is a waste of money. Even worse, food that causes sickness could end in a hospital visit which is a LOT of money.

Now let's all ponder what might be one of the worst things to leave in the fluctuating-temperature-monster-fridge.... hmmm... let's see... need another minute? ..... ok ok, I'll tell you: RAW MEAT. Guess how long this raw meat was marinating before we cooked it! -- Roughly a day and a half. UFF.

And TA-DA! Miss Kelly has food poisoning like nobody's business (followed by B and el suegro not feeling so hot either...). I won't go into the nasty details of my suffering... but just know that it was exceptionally awful. I will offer one bit of advice though. If you ever have food poisoning, please know that dehydration usually comes along with that - so drink tons and tons of water. If you don't, you will experience the worst stabbing pain in your side (which after everything you went through with the food poisoning just feels like karma is being unnecessarily mean).

And about a week after this whole incident, I'm feeling much better............ and the monster-refrigerator has been happily devouring electricity without any breaks for the past few days. :o)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Introducing my roommates...

So I live with 2 dogs - chihuahuas, to be more exact. I love dogs- really, I do. But I never thought that I would be living with chihuahuas. In fact, I remember wanting to laugh when my Latino boyfriend told me he has pet chihuahuas (oh all the stereotype jokes you can think of!)

People seem to know chihuahuas for two things.... #1: the Taco Bell dog and/or #2: being vicious angry little purse dogs. As far as I know our chihuahuas do not prefer Taco Bell more than other human food nor do they say clever Spanish phrases. And only one of the two is vicious and mean.

So here are Terry and Perla.....

Terry is an evil evil dog. He's male and quite possibly has multi-personality disorder. One minute he is sitting calmly on the sofa next to you and then the next he is snarling and snapping at your hand. B. has bite marks on his arm now for simply sitting down next to him.

Terry is about 8 years old and has some issues jumping. He also tends to prance when he walks. The most bizarre thing about Terry is his nicotine addiction. If anyone is smoking a cigarette near him, that person is immediately his best friend. He will wait patiently until he can get to the smoking hand and then lick all the nicotine flavor off the hand. Seriously weird, right?

Perla is the lady of the house. She's about a year and half and she also has some issues jumping up onto the sofa -- this is due to the fact that she is PREGNANT (thanks to Terry, uff).

She is a sweetheart and only snaps at Terry. She has become my guardian. She will sit next to me on the sofa all comfy and then bark and snap at Terry if he tries to come anywhere near me. She seems to be rather scared of the camera (I think it might be the flash) - so we're lucky to have this photo of her. Perla is well along in her pregnancy, so we should be seeing chihuahua puppies very shortly!

I don't want to become one of those people who blogs about their pets too much, but there will definitely be some more blogs about Perla and Terry. :o)

Friday, September 18, 2009

Dear Chile, Happy Dieciocho!

Fiestas Patrias. Funny to think that one year ago I was in Chile going to fundas, eating obscene amounts of empanadas and drinking delicious Chilean wine (sorry, not a fan of the chicha).

And now I'm in Guatemala, missing Chile like it's my job. In honor of this nostalgia for my 2nd home and for the national holiday being celebrated, I bought a bottle of Concha y Toro Carmenere (on sale today for only 50Q!!*) and I made my own version of pebre using Guatemalan ingredients (which will probably mean the pebre will be super spicy, but I love it!). (OK OK, I also bought a bottle of Pisco. It's Capel. But come on now, it's pisco in, that's awesome!)

Completely unrelated to Chile, we're also making pan-fried chicken wings. Neither of us has ever done this before and most wing recipes online call for some amount of baking. Unfortunately, we don't have an oven (! oh yes, we definitely "live without" in many ways). This should be interesting (at this very moment I can hear the chicken sizzling). Hopefully we don't burn down our kitchen in our attempt to satisfy the craving for US style Happy Hour hot wings.

Pictures to come. And with that, I'm off to make sure the man isn't burning anything!

Viva Chile! Enjoy your chicha/vino/pisco!

* 8Q = 1 USD

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hello World.

So I'm finally starting up the blog. I know it's been a few weeks since I moved to "the land of the trees," but I've had my hands full with things like eating more beans than I have in my life so far, the unnecessarily difficult process of setting up the internet, surviving rides in brightly colored buses blasting reggaeton, the painful experience of food poisoning, and spoiling a cute pregnant chihuahua. I will expand on all of these fantastically entertaining topics in the next few days for your reading enjoyment. For now this is just a "hello world!" post in order to let everyone know that I am here!