16 September 2010

The Mystery Fruit: Tomatalope

So, I am in my own (well, shared) apartment! Its very nice, very basic. And I LOVE having my own space. I can shower when I want (as long as I light the hot-water heater with a match 15 minutes in advance), I can go to bed when I want (which is early, because I get up literally before the dawn each morning), and, possibly the best part, I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want.

This was somewhat of a challenge for me when I was staying with Jorge David and his family. They were very hospitable, and a perfect way to acclimatize to Ecuador. But a cultural aspect of Ecuador is that here, the people eat three large meals a day. Being someone who is used to snacking, this was kind of awkward to get used to...I would have to force myself to finish what was served to me (or even half of it) but then be starved a hour before the next "mealtime"...So Maryam and I are now able to buy our food together, which includes crackers, fruit, and fresh veggies for snacks!

Oh, and another thing: We don't have a fridge. So far, we've just bought food that we could eat that night, and non-refrigeratable stuff. We're getting progressively better at cooking on our tiny little lite-with-a-match stove! We've eaten pasta and soup for the past three nights...we've had plenty chicken-and-rice meals for awhile.

Anyway, the whole buying-food-every-day is actually something I like. Its about a 5 or 10 minute walk to the market, where tons and tons of fresh food is being sold. (and very very cheap...Especially being used to Alaska prices, buying fresh bell peppers at 10 cents each is delish!)

Tonight, we decided to experiment with one of the many "unknown fruits" here. The Mystery Fruits, which will soon be a regular submission on my blog. I am documenting our experience with different fruits. Here is the first installment:

So. Eggbert the Watermelon Fruit, after a second tasting, tasted less like a watermelon and more like a combination of a tomato and a cantaloupe, so we changed its name to a Tomataloupe. And the delish consensus? Well, definitely not something I'd choose over strawberries, but I'd eat it if I was, you know, starving. Or if I had to be polite...but probably not otherwise.

15 September 2010

Jam Sesh!

This is what we do for fun here.

Okay, we do other things for fun too. But this was definitely one of the most fun things! The people are Maryam , my lovely roommate (We're moved to our apartment a few days ago! photos to be posted soon) and Marlon, a youth pioneering in Ecuador. (He's from Guatemala!) We had a very exciting time with the Spanish/English/pots and pans. And there was a lot of kicks and giggles when the family we were staying with walked through the door and saw us singing "The Soccer Song" with pots and pans. So fun!