26 July 2009

Noontime Comida at the Cordova's

One of the highlights of our trip was lunch in Ambrocio's home. It was so meaningful to us, to not only be served a meal in their home, but to connect to their family on such a personal level.

Right off the bat I noticed the coffee plants scattered about. They are vibrant and intriguing. When I asked if they roasted them for coffee to drink, Norma told me no, that they grow them to sell. Another small source to supplement income.

And then ... I smelled lunch. Norma had been home all morning preparing for us to arrive, as the power was out so the hotplates were not in service. So, she just cooked the entire meal outside! The tray holding the pan of food is happily resting on an old car wheel that managed to cook a meal better than any fancy-shmancy convection oven ever could.

And yes. That is fried chicken. Delicious. Just enough for the guests, Ambrocio and family declined. This was an obvious act of sacrifice and honor bestowed on us. I doubt they eat chicken very often.

Norma also served Badu. A root vegetable cooked much like a potato, but sweeter and less starchy. Combined with a few seasonings and local crema ... Heavenly.

"Where do you get badu?" I asked Norma. She turned around and pointed to this monstrously lush plant that one can find all over the place. "Just dig it up," she instructed.

No spin cycle here, but must handle the wash awfully well. We found that while our Honduran friends may not have much, they take pride in how they present themselves. Indeed, Ambrocio has a beautiful and impressive family.

Green Honduran oranges. Cut them open and they are orange inside!

Peter playing Ambrocio's Garifuna drum. Ambrocio was born in a coastal Garifuna village. A tribe who escaped slavery from Caribbean islands several hundred years ago.

Before lunch Josue, the eldest (and Peter's compatriart), took myself and Peter on a little walk to the local mercadito to by some banana soda. Think of a mercadito as a small, Honduran mini-mart. Along the way I saw fields of wild flowers.

A neighboring family's outdoor oven, and friendly donkey that so charmed me I completely forgot to take his picture.

"It is not like 'Target'," Josue informed me. No, but your shop has much more charm.

Our sweet friends, the Cordovas. Ambrocio, Norma, Josue, Angel (pronounced An-hill), Alicia, and Eliza (not pictured and pronounced A-lisa).

Americans have their own standards for wealth, but it was obvious to us that the Cordova's considered themselves very blessed. A home with electricity, a plot for a vegetable garden, wild flowers abounding, and a peaceful, caring neighborhood. The lack of Western "essentials" was apparent, but not missed. Don't get me wrong, I still love my washer and dryer, and I wouldn't mind new carpet someday. But when Ambrocio looked at us funny as we began to take our shoes off before coming inside and motioned, "Why? There is no need. We just sweep it out when you leave!" I began realizing that all my modern conveniences can often be a drag. It leads to more stuff, more care, more worry, and definitely more money. Ambrocio and his family just don't spend their minutes concerned with many of the minor things I often do. There is work to be done and people to care for!

Now really. In light of this, who is the richer?


  1. These pictures really put so much of our western wants into perspective. Just beautiful. I bet the meal was wonderful! Thank you for sharing your experience with us.

  2. Anna, it has been so fun to read about your adventures in Honduras and see the photos. Thank you for sharing! I am glad you made it safely back home :)

  3. I love this post! I love reading the little tidbits about your adventure. Keep them coming-

  4. beautiful, incredible pictures and a wonderful post. what a blessing for you to have had this opportunity! and a humbling reminder to all of us of what should be valued.

  5. Anna, we have been praying for you and your family and are so blessed by your journey. Thank you so much for the beautiful testimony of God's love and goodness among these people. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Thank you. Love...

  6. Oh, there is indeed a richness to an ultra-simple life that I envy. So often it seems I'm so distracted and I can't help but wonder if/we chose a simpler life we would deal with less "noise". I think so.

  7. I LOVE THIS! Thank you so much for the post. I can't tell you how much we have experience this exact thing in our travels to China, Africa, India, Ecuador,'s always the same...simpler lives, less stuff, richer faith, greater joy.