Saturday, 1 October 2011

One crazy family ...... even crazier than mine!

I know I haven’t been writing much, but it is hard, because we are doing so many different things, that by the time we get back to the house, I can’t find the time to write. For example, since my last post about Los Cayos Cochinos (see below), we have been to Coxen hole, been and watched a load more marching in Oak Ridge, been to a resort called Fantasy Island for a Teachers Lunch, been baking (YES!! I have even been continuing my baking skills out here, make a vanilla sponge for the head teacher, Profa Elena, as she is leaving and she is an all around top women, she even said that it was delicious! but just between you and me ... and Ally ... and the caretaker who showed us how to use the oven ... it was one of the packet cake mixes as we couldn’t find all the right ingredients I needed), and also been helping out with this project that one of the locals was working on with the previous volunteer, this is where the crazy family comes in!
One evening at Mary Lou’s, her niece, a very nice young women called Yandra came in with her niece (who’s name we didn’t catch) but everyone calls her Boo Boo (an affectionate name for a child) so we did to! Anyway, she came in and explained that she started this project with Charles about A Garifuna History of Punta Gorda, written in 3 languages, english, spanish and garifuna. It entailed many things about traditional garifuna baking (which we have tried and all things are lush, coconut bread, janni cakes and banana fritters, traditional dresses and medicines and even how to build a clay oven (all uni goers listen up! ... haha) anyway, she came to show us what she had and to say that she just needed a little bit more work, so she opened her laptop and as things always go with laptops, she had lost some to most of the work on the project, so she asked if we could help her out, and said that it would so helpful, and fun as well, so we naturally said yes and got to work immediately.
The next night she invited us back to work at her house (about 3 doors down) and also to meet the rest of her family. Well ... my word! The mother, Mary Lou’s sister, is a great women, so smily and funny and always cooking as well, she is also a bit of a mover, (I though I had competition!) whenever we had some (english) music on, we would look over and see her hips bobbing up and down to the rhythm. Yandra herself is so confident, funny and loud. Constantly telling us that we need to learn spanish, so that is all we are allowed to speak and that she needs to learn english, so she speaks english and we reply in spanish, can get very confusing at times, and she is also helping us learn some garifuna, which is cool, but so hard! Little ‘BooBoo’ is crazy, always running around and yelping, climbing on you and as cute as can be, and ever so affectionate to her ‘Tia” or aunty for the non spanish speakers among you. Yandra’s little sister, also called Yandra, but everyone calls her Yandrita meaning ‘little Yandra’ is a student of Ally’s so he knows her a little, and she is so funny. Always smiling and her laugh is hysterical (worse than your’s Gina! :O   Not even joking) and she always takes pictures on Ally’s camera and sings at the top of her voice to the songs blaring out of the computer. So we have been there a couple of times and actually got some work done, but last night we went over and started laughing and joking, then Yandra said that she wanted to do some baking and use up the bananas she had so she told us how to make banana fritters and we watched/helped her make these while also learning how to dance ‘Punta’ at various intervals while Yandrita took pictures and BooBoo got in the way. These fritters are amazing, so good, we had them with hot chocolate and it was the perfect snack, gonna make these a lot in England when I return. Anyway, the whole night me and Ally were just smiling, laughing and playing with BooBoo, learning Punta dancing (and extreme version of the beyonce booty shake) and generally having fun. We really feel that we have made some good friends and Yandra says that she will take us to the west end (not to see a play) but to meet some more of her friends and go and have night out some time ... can’t really say no to that now can we! 
We are both just loving life out here so much, and are so excited for the next couple of weeks, we are planning our big travel over the christmas holidays and have researched some amazing places (in guatemala especially), Jen (our desk officer from PT) is coming out next week for a visit and we are also having a weekend away again (on the island this time) and just the two of us so should be great. So many good things to look forward to.
Just a quick hello to all my friends at Uni at the moment, hope you are all settling in and getting on with your flatmates e.t.c, email me how you are getting on, love to read everyone’s stories, so keep me informed!
Till next time,
Ally and Yandra got attacked by the flour.

My new best friend!

Yandra and Yandrita showing us how to dance punta!

Bit of a poser!

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