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Reisverslag Lagunas and the family
23 augustus 2015
Lagunas and the family
Here i am again. For the last 10 days i have been in the little town of lagunas in the state of oaxaca. It is very little (4000 inhabitants), and is surrounded by little tree covered mountains. My host mother was born here and all of her family lives in and aroud this town.
Now firstly this family is very big, mexican families in general! There is like one very old aunt who stands at the top of the family tree, who had 12 children. And 4 generation of aunts, cousins, uncles and grandparents follow with 3 to 4 children each. Just so you get the picture.
So i stayed in the house of my host mother's mother together with my host mother and sister and some cousins and aunts. My host dad is working back in Tuxtla.
This town is very little and there isn't actually a lot to do. There is one supermarket, one clothes store and some little taco houses. And there is one very large and nice sports complex, where you can play football, basketball, baseball and you can swim in a very pretty pool. Sometimes i have been a little bored but the days were fine, a lot of relaxing. I woke up around 9am to have easy mexican breakfast, taking a little shower and relaxing in the living room with the family. In the afternoon lunch at 3pm and every day around 5pm i went to swim at the pool. I mean, all this mexican food is very good but if i don't stay a little healthy i'll come back +30kg haha.
In the evening we played on the streets with the littles cousins and after that we had dinner at like 10pm. An aunt in the family has a little restaurant where she makes one of the local oaxaqueñan specialties: tlayudas. A tlayuda is like one giant tortilla, folded in two and filles with beans, meat, letuce and salsa and then barbecued on the fire --> delicious! So we often ate tlayudas or we prepared dinner at home. But mexicans don't eat a lot at dinner, mostly at breakfast actually or at lunch.
But it was hot! 40° everyday, which makes you sweat 24/7, and it makes you want to do nothing haha. Luckily in the evenings it gets better. Because of the heat it wasn't so bad to just do nothing.
The house is pretty big and very colourfull (all the houses in mexico also are very colorfull on the outside), a lot of green and blue and it has a lot of open windows. In the back there is a little playground for the dogs of the family and to hang out your laundry.
The people here, including my family, do not have a lot of money and they do not have a lot but they have a huuuuge heart, or corazón as they say here. They sure all are very nice.
Everybody in this town knows each other. Everybody. Everybody says hi and adios to each other, even if you have never met them. Even in the 10 days i were here, everybody knows who i am haha: the exchange student/el huerro (which means "the white")/the european etc etc.
In this area though, which is pretty rural, there is one little con. There are a lot of mosquitoes, which carry chikungunya, a very unpleasant disease. It gives you a lot of fever and gives you joint problems for several months. For this reason everybody has to put repellent on, which is pretty annoying to do every 8 hours. Better that than chikungunya but still.
I noticed too that the people in mexico drink a lot of soda, at every meal. But i try to stick with the water, which i prefer also when i am thirsty. But like in a lot of countries, you cannot drink the water out of the tap. So they buy those big reservoirs of water out of which you can drink.
They also drink a kind or rice water, with a very difficult name. It is very cheap and sweet but you get used to it.
And they have so much fruit here!! And their names and appearances, i could never have imagined. Guanabana, nanchi, papaya, papausa and many more that we don't know in europe. I haven't tried all yet but i certainly will. And everywhere are mango-, papaya- and lemon trees full of fruit.
But the fruits and vegs here are simply delicious. Sweet and juicy and healthy and just amazing. I bought some mangos which were absolutely gorged with juice, and the tomatoes too are just so sweet and rich.
As you may have noticed, yes i like food and every time it will be present in some way in my blogs haha.
I also had this strong desire to some fruit and vegs because they are not as present here in dishes as they are in Europe.
Just like bread. Awww man i miss bread so much!! But logically, wheat does no grow here, mais does and tortillas here are equal to bread in europe. It is always on the table and they eat it with everything.
At times we also went to Almoloyas, which is an even smaller village here in the surroundings. The WHOLE family has a little house there, where they meet once in a while. Here i got to meet aaaaaaaall the cousins and aunts and granddads and grandmothers and uncles and everything. Very nice but very hard to speak that much spanish.
The best day in Almoloya was the day we were having mole for lunch. Mole is a tipical mexican dish, like a very thick sauce they eat with meat or rice, and there is no exact recipe. Every family has another way of making it and every region has a different type of mole. Mole poblano, mole verde, rojo, oaxaqueño etc etc.
Mole consists mostly of (this is what i understood from all the ingredients) pure chili (habanero yes of course, jalapeño here is like a cucumber for them), some kind of cookies, chocolate (yes chocolate, not the sweet kind but the bitter 90% cacao one) and lots of herbs and spices. The elder ones where preparing the mole, they started a day earlier for the chile, and they were preparing it in a big iron tub on a fire, stirring it with a wooden spoon.
The mole was absolutely delicious! We ate it with beef and really it is truly magical. So much chiles, but it isn't spicy or hot, very rich in flavours and fruity with notes of prunes (from the habanero). A great meal it was. I am going to ask for the recipe to make it at home.
After lunch we had lots of fun with the family and the cousins. We also played truth or dare and they made me eat a little pure red evil chile. It pretty much knocked down all the senses i had in my mouth haha.
At dinner we had another very traditional mexican dish: tamales. Tamales also come in a lot of different forms in whole latin america. Basicly it is a mix of mais flour and either meat, beans, vegs, rice or everything together packed in a banana leaf and then cooked in boiling water. The traditional mexican tamales are just with beans and mais flour, but yesterday we ate them with mole and meat which tasted very good.
I have picture of mole and tamales linked to this blog.
Anyway, right now it is 8pm and i am leaving by bus at 00:30 to go back to tuxtla. Because everyone travels by bus in Mexico. There is no train connection for passengers and not everybody has a car, so it is either by plane (which is expensive for most) or by bus. And for short distance travelling they use here what they call cucarachas or camionetas, which are pickups disguised as busses haha.
In Tuxtla i am going to buy my school uniform, go for a haircut because this is way too hot for this weather, and prepare myself for my first day of school on monday.
I will post another blog in a couple of weeks of my experiences at school but after that my life here will settle and there will be less interesting things to tell. But i will try to post at least one blog a month to share my life here in Mexico.
Foto's bij verslag (6)
23 augustus 2015 11:41 | Door: Roos en hans
Je bent snel met een super mooi verslag over je ervaring daar ! Het voelt alsof je er bij bent wanneer je het leest! Geweldig beschreven,we hebben genoten en het voelt goed , veel succes op school en ik ben benieuwd naar je nieuwe kapsel en je schooluniform. Wat een bizondere ervaring in je leven, dit kun je alleen nu doen en wat zal het straks voor je gevoel een lux studentenleventje worden in Delft, hahaha. . Geniet! Liefs van ons allebei, knuffel van oma.
23 augustus 2015 22:50 | Door: Sas Suus en Seb
Eh....zei jij nou laatst dat je niet wist wat je moest schrijven?! Hahaha!!! Bedankt Nilsie het voelt alsof we er bij waren en dat recept van mole moet je echt voor ons maken (al weet ik niet of alle ingredienten hier te krijgen zijn...)liefs van ons xxx
24 augustus 2015 21:00 | Door: Sonja
Weer zo'n mooi verslag, echt leuk om te lezen :)
Als je over 10 maanden net zo goed Spaans spreekt als dat je Engels schrijft, dan heb je zeker je doel bereikt hahaha.... Heel veel groetjes xxx
30 augustus 2015 12:31 | Door: Tatie Helene
Bonjour mon cher Nils,
merci de nous avoir fait découvrir un aperçu de ta nouvelle vie, riche en couleurs et en calories !!!!!
Je pense que tu as du déjà commencé tes cours.......comment était-ce ?
Ta cousine Camille commence au Lycée Francais de Lisbonne cette semaine.....
Nous attendons avec impatience les prochains épisodes de " Nils au Mexique"
Bisous de nous tous