A couple of weeks ago, one of my community mates and I were making lunch. As we added fresh fruits and vegetables to our plates, we commented on how beautiful the food looked. She ran and got her camera to take a picture of her plate. There is just something so captivating yet simple about a corn tortilla, avocado, tomato, and cheese with lime squeezed over it. Perhaps, it has to do with the fact that the corn tortilla was purchased from the tortilla stand a couple blocks away where a handful of women spend all day pounding masa into tortillas and toasting them on a huge skillet heated by a firewood flame. Since I pass by the stand numerous times a week, I often say hello as I pass and they respond with a smile and a hello. Maybe the reason lunch tastes so good is that the cheese we eat comes from a lady in the market from whom we buy our eggs and cheese weekly and who is always very talkative and friendly, often offering us samples of the cheese and maybe even throwing in a little extra than the pound that we purchase. The avocado and tomatoes come from the market as well, and although we do not necessarily have a strong connection to those selling the produce, there is something more real about picking an avocado out of a basket and bargaining down the price than shopping in a supermarket with its posted prices and artificial fluorescent lights. The limes come directly off the tree s in our yard. We have the privilege of having not only a couple of lime trees but coconut, guava, and grapefruit trees that bear fruit. Honestly, I think the real reason that lunch tasted so delicious was the fact that it was from here, Nicaragua, a place that I have grown to love and call home.
I don't have the picture that my community mate took that day, but this picture is of a similar lunch I ate a week later.
Sunday morning in the house is often calm and relaxing. This morning, I woke up at 6:30am to the sun coming in through the window. No one else was awake yet and I took advantage of the stillness to sit in the sun right outside my room and to journal. I realized how grateful I am to be in the present moment, to feel the sun, to hear the sounds of women selling nacatamales and neighbors moving about in their houses. In the back of my mind was the long list of things I am hoping to check off my to-do list today, as well as things I am worried or anxious about. However, for that 20 minutes, I tried to let go of it all and simply hold on to the fact that I am here in Nicaragua and that I am grateful for that.
There is so much more that I hope to write but for now, that´s all.
Take care of one another.