Guatemala Day 5

After lunch there was a whole mango, sitting next to our four plates; skin and all. The host family told us to peel it like you would peel an orange. I’ve never peeled a mango before, an adult did it for me. But I’ve watched my parents, and other people cut mangos many times. I pick it up, take me knife, and cut it at the top, just above the pit. I do the same to the bottom underneath the pit. The host family sitting across from me was looking at me like I had just broke the silence by saying “Luke, I am your father”. Continuing with my mango, I took each half (sort of half) and drew lines vertically and horizontally in until I could pop both sides up and eat the most delicious mango I’ve tasted, scored into perfect little diamonds of orange delight.

Smooth and sweet but still a little tart. The remaining three mango halves,  eaten and dripping everywhere where disposed by my fellow roommates.

We went to a chocolate factory in the afternoon. We went through the process of making chocolate. By the end it looked like there was dirt on my hands, but it was actually the cacao powder sticking. The chocolate was so dark, that when we got home, all of our stomach hurt from the 100% cacao samplings. We started with toasted cacao beans, peeling them hand by hand. And we ended with our very own, very chocolatey, patty.


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Guatemala Day 4

The falling apart tortilla was awkwardly slammed between my palms, over and over again. Laughing at me sloppiness, my classmate was on their sixth. In my frustration I slammed it harder till it fell on the floor, again. Not giving up, I took another one, and took a deep, muttering under my breath “why can’t I get this?!”.  Rubbing it into a ball, then flattening with my fingers. The flour stuck to me, wet soggy. Gross. Still not giving up, I looked up at one of the women in “the women’s cooperation” and watched them do it easily and flawlessly. Her colored dress looked like it had a blanket of smoke over her dress coming from the perfect tortillas cooking. Like the sun of Guatemala, bright colorful, but with of layer of pollution (to my disappointment after thinking it was fog). She slapped them palm to Palm, until it got to her fingers, done and even. Replicating her actions, I formed a relatively acceptable tortilla. I got the motivation especially after Sophia said she wouldn’t clean her side of the room if I gave up.

The women’s cooperation introduced us to their culture. They could balance 50 pounds on their head when back home I can barley balance my books in my hands going to class. From a welcoming smoky smell, we spent the afternoon learning about a traditional dance to tortilla making to an actual Guatemalan wedding.


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