Saturday, January 16, 2016

Dinner, "Catch me if you can!"

With our time in Lagunas drawing to a close Rosa and Alex invited us for a fish fry at their house.  

Tessa, "We went to Rosa's house for lunch but she wasn't there so we went to the shrimp place.  We saw a poison dart frog too.  She came back and we got to catch fish.  We had dinner and then milked goats and gave Brandy some milk.  I loved it!"
How many kids can you find in this picture?  It's amazing
how quickly the jungle camouflages even us gringos. We
hiked down to try and find some shrimp in a tiny stream
below Alex and Rosa's house.
(There are at least 3 plus Aaron)
I love this simple home!  You can see the
 ground far below between the floor boards.  

The kids love to see the farm animals!  It is endlessly
entertaining to watch goats nibble on your pieces of weeds.

Please note the old shoe soles used as hinges for
the chicken coop doors.  They just wear their shoes
 out, machete off the old soles, and nail them to a
 door for a handy self closing hinge.  Nothing is 
thrown away that can be used.
Maggie, "After school we went down to Rosa's, but they weren't there so we went to try and find some shrimp.  We found the stream but no shrimp and it was really hard to get up and down.  We started back those, but Rosa came down as we went up so we turned around and came back and I collapsed in a chair.  I was SUPER worn out!  So Rosa, Mom, and Max worked in the kitchen and made some amazing things."

While the little boys and Maggie explored the farm again or played with Tessa in the house, Max, Rosa, and I did some cooking.  We started with hand made tortillas for a snack, and fresh squeezed lemonade.  That gave us enough energy to make fried plantains.

Smashing the plantains was no easy task.  It took Max's whole
 50 pounds and then some to get them down to about 1/4 inch thick.
Max, " We made something unsuspecting.  We took green peeled plantains, witch is like stiff bananas, deep fried it, flattened it, and deep fried it again, and ate it.  It was like a potato chip, but plantain flavored."
Fried plantains, surprisingly scrumptious!
The absolute best beans I have ever had!  Incredibly delicious!
You take the beans on top of the plantain and WOW!

Alex and Rosa do not have a refrigerator.  This obviously makes it difficult to keep food, especially meats.  One of the ways that they get around this, is to keep their animals alive until they plan on eating them.  They have constructed their own tilapia pond with about 80 tilapia in it to provide fresh fish.  Whenever they need fish, instead of reaching in the freezer for filets, they just drain their pond a bit, and pick them out fresh by hand.  They were kind enough to drain the pond a bit for our benefit, and let us do a little fishing!  We felt like a couple of grizzly bears as the salmon run up the river.

Maggie, "We caught tilapia by part draining the pond and catching them with our hands.  I was super good and caught 4!"

Max, "We went to their little fish tank to catch tilapia.  We tried to catch slippery fish with our hands, but they kept using their fin's bones to spike our hands.  But finally we caught some, fried them in pork grease and ate it.  It was delicious!"

We lost count on how many times Tessa had to
catch and re-catch her fish.
Finally safe in the bucket.
Tessa and Rosa scrubbed and descaled.  Then
Rosa was happy to have Aaron clean and
de-head the fish.  She said that was a good man job.
 Once the fish was ready to fry, she pulled out a jar of
pig grease they saved from their last pig slaughter,
and cooked the fish in pig grease over a wood fire.

For Tessa, of all my children, to give this meal two thumbs up is the greatest of compliments.  We count ourselves incredibly blessed to have been able to experience life with Alex and Rosa.  Their kindness, sincerity, and generosity is something for me to aspire to. We thoroughly enjoyed visiting with them as we sat together under his bare bones lean-to.  Where our broken Spanish wouldn't relay the message across we turned to the universal language, charades, and had no problems communicating at all.  

The kids had a great time milking the goats.  The goats had a great pen set up where they could be perfectly contained for milking.  His entire house and all of his farm sheds and corrals are made from the wood he cut down in the jungle.  When I asked him what he built his house with, he said, "My hands and a chainsaw".  If you look at the fencing in this picture, it is all tree branches measured and cut to size with a chainsaw and then nailed in place.  No need for Home Depot lumber here.


  1. It's so great that you guys got to hook up with a family there so that you could really see how people live. I love how they keep the fish pond and I'm sure the kids loved trying to catch fish. All I can say is WOW, what a wonderful adventure!

  2. Every time I read your blog all I can think is: WOW! what an awesome adventure!