Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Food in El Salvador

We've had to practically beg for authentic El Salvador cuisine! The first meal we had a few puposas a piece...12 of us are that meal for $16. Puposas are tortillas stuffed with cheese or beans or meat...a mix between pizza and quesadilla. Our next two dinners were italian though. Pretty funny. 

I thought it'd be easier to be vegetarian here so those making meals could save money and stock me up on beans and rice. Turns out it's easier to cook the same for everyone! So still I've eaten some hen soup (perfect for a 90 degree day right? :) 

Yesterday someone on the job site cut down a banana plant...which is actually not a tree, but closer resembles an herb! Lifespan of 9 months. Crazy right? And plantains are more of a starch like a potato than a fruit. Anyway, this is probably the first time I've ever eaten a tree ripened banana, as those in the states are all shipped in green and gassed to ripen. I think it was sweeter, and was a perfect pocket size!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Team 10

Meet Loris, my roommate for the week! She is a cheery and chipper ray of sunshine. Must be because she's so friendly and chatty with everyone, listening with genuine interest to their stories and asking to hear more to get to know them!

She's a warrior with her shovel...what wonders she could do moving compost on our farm! And so modest. I should take notes.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

El Salvador

So it's not usual for me to follow in my brother's footsteps or anything. I just coincidentally was in band and took French and worked at the same bank he did when in high school. Thankfully I wished up and didn't follow him to Iowa, land of GMO corn. But now that he been traveling more, his trips have peaked my interest. For the past couple years he's volunteered for habitat for humanity in Central America. With my travels last year, it was a no brainier when he invited me to join this year in El Salvador. I wasn't exactly sure where this tiny country was located, but knew it was time for me to give back for my previous travels. 

So here are a few pics from our intro days so starts tomorrow!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Small town stories

There is nothing to do in Fethiye, they said. Koreans come here to paraglide. I come here to do nothing. Here's where i can hear the real stories though...small towns are like that. 

The hostel owner also owns a boat tour which cruises along the Mediterranean coastline of turkey. So now that it's winter, many of the boat crew work at the hostel. It's a fun group, as they invite me and my new friend Marie (we just kept crossing paths in different cities!) to dine with them. Nothing says authentic like a home cooked Turkish dinner. The first night we had grilled fish with salad. The next was roasted chicken with potatoes and vegetables and rice. With dinner we had raki, which is a Turkish spirits that tastes like black licorice. That was the only thing i wasn't a fan of. 

They all speak pretty good English. Some of my jokes don't translate well but that's ok. You can tell they are anxious for the warm temps so they can get back on the boat. 

During the days I mostly hike around on my own. Even though it's along the water, the land quickly inclines to steep hills and mountains, which makes for gorgeous viewpoints. 

Yesterday I visited some ruins and saw some beautiful natives: shepherds, old and young, and a girl holding out flowers to cars that were driving past. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014


My last official stop of Turkey! The coastal town of Fethiye.

It finally reached 60 degrees! Regardless that it's warmer than Denver, I still miss that sunshine!


One thing is for sure, Turkey has some crazy natural formations! Besides Cappadocia, I visited the travertines of Pamukkale. Reminds me of the geysers and sulfur springs in Yellowstone, only not smelly.

And lunch: a Turkish spinach feta wrap!


If I lived in turkey I would own a bus company whose buses had bathrooms inside and nonstop service. And over night buses would have fully reclining seats. Heck, let's put them in planes too. Surely they can be engineered to fit the same amount of people. Like business class sleepers only tighter. Not sure how people can sleep in chair seats well. 

So besides the torture of the overnight bus that my cheap self put myself through, cappadocia was beautiful. I admit that I had higher expectations. People told me it was a magical place and the highlight of their trip. I wouldn't go that far...but I'm also not here during the best season. That crazy stray dog was the highlight for me. 

The balloon flight this morning was stunning. People have belittled balloon flights for its lack of excitement, but perhaps that's bc of the view. We were able to go up and down throughout the chimneys that were otherwise too steep to hike or bike through. The sun came out for a minute and it even snowed a bit! Our pilot joked that it was a decent ride for his first flight. I laughed but we did end up landing on a cliff which I don't think he intended! His team had to run out and help push us up the rest of the way. Thankfully no one was too fazed by it.