Saturday, March 23, 2013

An Outing to the Shore

I really like the shores here. They are beautiful and always so scenic. Right now it is too cold to really enjoy it, but I have a feeling in a few short weeks we will be going here more often!

For the Children

As part of our involvement in our weekly fellowship, we are on a rotation to teach the children's lesson. Obviously, this means me (not Ronnie), so about every five weeks I have to prepare a lesson with activities for a few kids. I have to admit, at first this was really difficult for me and I somewhat dreaded it because I just felt uncomfortable and don't have a lot of experience with elementary-aged children. Now that I have done it a few times, I am really starting to enjoy it and look forward to this time! Right now we are talking about Genesis and creation. For our treasure-verse memorization activity, I created this puzzle for them to solve. I think they really liked it!


Almost every morning, I have the following for breakfast: 2 or 3 types of fruit (apple, pear, banana, strawberries, raisins, etc.), topped with 3 dollops of plain yogurt (I have really grown fond of this here), and this delicious (and probably unhealthy) granola that I have found in our supermarkets. This particular flavor of granola has pieces of milk and dark chocolate in it. So good!!! I am getting hungry thinking about it. Anyways it is delicious and I am definitely spoiled, although I am trying to lay off a bit on the granola. 

Ronnie has enhanced his daily breakfast from one egg to sometimes having some extra vegetables, toast, etc. Maybe that is why he is so skinny? It doesn't matter I can't give up my fruit!

Just because this is cooking-related, I tried to make brownies the other day. Because I was going to be making these for some local friends whose house we were going to be guests at, I wanted them to turn out pretty. The mix said that I could make brownie cookies instead of the normal pan kind that doesn't cut well. They didn't turn out so well, basically a giant flat brownie tortilla that was stuck to the pan. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of the disaster. However, I was so determined to not waste the mix that somehow - amazingly - I was able to use a knife, a spatula, and a heart-shaped cookie cutter to turn them into decent-looking heart-shaped cookies. It definitely wasn't the easy way to do it, but I am glad they didn't go to waste! 

In Our City...

Sometimes blind people get driven around to stop and play music on different streets. I guess you are supposed to hear the music, run downstairs, and donate some money. I really respect these guys.

I have talked about our market before. I really love it and we stock up on fruits and veggies every week! You can find almost everything there: produce, dairy, fish, clothes, accessories, household goods, furniture... and these types of booths just repeat over and over for blocks.

It has been raining quite a bit recently. It seems like it is starting to warm up, so I think in the next few weeks the rain should be gradually subsiding.

Multiple times a week, a man walks up our street yelling. He is like our city's ice cream truck, but he is selling a sesame seed bagel thing. They are delicious! Sometimes, for instances such as this, people have buckets that they lower out of their window by a string to pay for and retrieve the bagel. I am really tempted to do this and haven't gotten around to it. I think it would be a little too dangerous for our health =).

We went to a cool historical place with pillars, water, cool lighting, and a giant Medusa head!

I think I have mentioned that there are cats everywhere. Even though cats are not my favorite, I like to take pictures of them. I love when I see a pregnant cat. The only thing better would be to see a cat with a bunch of baby kittens!

This is how Ronnie fits in the minibuses... bless his soul.

I can buy fake Burberry scarves in almost any color I want! I love this one. I have also found a place where I can get boba - unfortunately they didn't have the milk tea flavor, but this vanilla drink was decent.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Winner! Winner! Chicken... liver?

The other day, as part of a language activity, we went with our language teacher to the butcher! He had told us a couple of days before that one of his favorite things to eat is chicken liver that he makes a special way, and he offered to make it for us. I was completely excited about trying something new, and thought it was a perfect opportunity for a language exercise! We went to the butcher, ordered 1 packet of chicken liver, and brought it back to the house. I was surprised to discover that chicken liver also came with hearts and kidneys (I think). I had to play with the hearts a little bit, they were so awesome.

He cut off all of the fat, and fried it all up with oil, salt and pepper, oregano, and tomato paste. I made some rice to go along with the meat. It really turned out well! I love trying new things!

In other news, Ronnie has been practicing driving here recently. It already is crazy scary to drive here, but he is successfully doing it while learning stick at the same time! I am so proud =). Also, the picture to the right was a random playing-with-hair train that happened on Wednesday during our cooking class. It is of my friend and two sweet girls that come to the community center often. I heartily jumped in on the action for a few minutes of much needed stress relief.


Here are a few things that we have found interesting about life here. 

The farmers market that happens on our street every Monday - rain, snow, or shine. While I am pretty bothered by how inefficient the whole process is, I am SO glad that they do it! I definitely count on getting my fruits and veggies here every week!

Most electrical outlets are located in the center of the wall like this. I don't like assuming that something is a stupid idea, but sometimes I wonder when, if ever, this is a practical thing. Also, doors for every room. At first I thought this would be a bother, but it has really been a life-saver for the cold winter months when we didn't want to heat the whole apartment!

Shoes outside of your apartment. Normally, we don't follow this completely; we just take off our shoes right inside and put them in a little cupboard. However, there is something about this sight (outside of our neighbor's door) that just makes me happy. Looks like someone's having a party! This has been somewhat of an adjustment for me, because normally I am a wear-shoes-all-of-the-time person, but it is nice walking around our apartment in socks or slippers all of the time; much more comfy.

I took these on a stroll around our neighborhood. 1. We are so cool here that, if I wanted to, I could buy a "One Direction" bag. 2. There are pigeons EVERYWHERE! It is so Mary Poppins here. 

They pickle everything here. Fortunately, buying or eating this stuff is usually optional, but man I never knew how many things could be pickled!

One day during language class we were interrupted by some noisiness on our street. We peaked out of the window to see them demolishing an apartment building right down the street! It was kind of cool to watch.