Saturday, October 25, 2014

Typical Day Part 1: Rise and Shine!

During our furlough last year, people often asked us to describe a typical day of our life in Honduras. This was difficult to answer for two reasons. First, life Latin America, as well as missions/ministry, can be somewhat unpredictable. Second, I have spent more time in Latin America than the U.S. in the past ten years and continue to blend aspects from both places into everyday life to the point of not being able to quickly or easily describe what is "typical" or "different (exotic)"!

Now that I've thought about it more, I will share a five-part series about what everyday life is like for us, with some pictures to give you a better idea. This is "Part 1: Rise and Shine!" You can find the other parts here:

Part 1: Rise and Shine!
Part 2: A Somewhat Quiet Time
Part 3: Dinner Time?
Part 4: The Great Escape
Typical Day Part 5: Evenings and Expecting the Unexpected

By 6:00 on the Caribbean coast the sun starts to rise, the temperature begins to go up, and people are getting ready for work and school; some schools start at 7:00 A.M. It's good to start the day early, before the heat becomes more stifling.

A "typical" Honduran breakfast usually consists of tortillas, scrambled eggs, refried beans, cheese, and sometimes avocado... and, more often than not, strong coffee. We sometimes have variations of this, or granola, cereal, or toast... and always have coffee. :)

Those who do not have coffee makers or electricity put grounds inside this
and then pour hot water through. It works just as well!

After breakfast, Fernando goes to the office or to run errands; I get started on laundry, cooking, and cleaning; and Baby J usually plays contentedly (most days!). This might sound familiar to some of you! :) However, our mornings might be different in other ways:

First, the amount of laundry I do depends on what the weather looks like because I line-dry clothes. Unlike dryers, washing machines are fairly common; however, many women wash clothes by hand in a pila (see picture below) or, if they don't have one, in a river.

Pilas, found in most Honduran homes, have a water tank and washboard. Although I use a washing machine, I love how useful the pila is and always miss it when I'm in the U.S.

Second, I cook with a gas stove (great to have if the power goes out) and rarely use the oven: it's too hot, hard to regulate, and takes too long.

This is our stove with the tank on the left. When it runs out, I call a gas business, and they send a delivery guy on a motorcycle to replace the tank (kind of like pizza delivery!).

Third, we eat our main meal at noon, which is common in this part of the world, so I mostly cook in the morning. One bonus: it's cooler! Another advantage: I have more energy in the morning. I'll describe a typical Honduran lunch in Part 3.

Fourth, houses have tile floors and get dusty, so it's best to sweep and mop on a daily basis. I prefer this simplicity to complicated vacuum cleaners. I also like how easy it is to clean the floor after Baby J eats and wash the mop in the pila.

I always like having a productive start to the day, but I'll be post about one of my favorite times next time in Part 2: "A Somewhat Quiet Time."

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