The other day we were invited to share dinner with the Garcia family, we had been out for the day so it was a lovely treat to be cooked for and enjoy association around the meal table. Interestingly a table has only within recent times become an item in the household and was proudly made by Juan, the father.
When we arrived the table was still being laid and the final touches were being put to the meal:
Note the new mode of transport – a new cart to get the family to and from the meetings. The kitchen is to the right of the picture with the smoke coming out and the bedroom, one for the whole family, is in the background. The washing lines that you can see are in fact barbed wire, not ideal for clothes on a windy day as it tends to tear them.
Heydelberth cooked us a typical meal of rice, fried chicken, tostones (this is what you can see her making above) and salad (made of cabbage, tomatoes and peppers)
I have come to appreciate the effort that goes into making any kind of meal in the average home here in Nicaragua where they do not enjoy the conveniences that I had taken for granted in UK. Heydelderth cooks everyday for her family of four children over a wood fire and the washing up is done at the concrete sink you see above, along with the laundry which is all washed and wrung by hand.
Note the shower room in the background of this picture, it’s the black plastic-sheet structure. The toilet is behind us and down the hill a little way – this too is a black plastic-sheet structure with a concrete toilet seat over an extremely deep hole, not somewhere I would relish having to find and use on a dark night.
Until this year the whole of this area didn’t have water on tap and the children used to have to hitch the horse, Bayo, to the cart three times a day to collect water in five gallon containers from a tap about half and hour’s ride away. Now they have water on tap every other day, so the days when there is water they still have to collect it in containers for the next day when the tap is dry.
The lanes to the Garcia’s house wind through coffee plantations, they live in a very isolated but pretty area; however, when it rains the lanes get filled up with water and mud and getting to and from the meetings or school for the children is a major challenge, especially on a Friday night, after the meeting going home in the pitch dark, there are absolutely no street lights.
We left our hosts, after a special time with them, before it became completely dark as we had quite a way to walk before we got to where our truck had been parked. We still had quite a drive back to get to the house. Before we left though we were given a cacao pod, it is the seeds inside this that are used to make chocolate.