A few weeks ago my mom and brother came to visit. (If you know me at all, just reading that sentence should elicit a ginormous smile.)
Not going to lie – the tears started flowing before they had even arrived. I jumped a mile high when I saw them stroll out from behind the airport security doors. It was wonderful (underscore that about 52 times – wonderful) to have them here to share Thanksgiving.
They got the see the school in action, meet my school principal – a woman very important to me, experience all forms of transportation available, including a chicken bus, moto-taxi and motorbike, share a laugh with the wonderful women who provide us with our scrumptious meals (even though sometimes we do receive rice, potatoes and tortillas all in one meal), and receive a taste of class extremes within the country, sharing food with families who have full-time paying jobs, and those whose work is not quite so constant.
I was also able to solicit my mother’s help in baking a pumpkin pie – unbeknownst to me the complications we would run into along the way. I had been planning on using the oven in our school cafeteria, as the 2 ovens in the teachers’ apartments were already taken. I come to find out that morning that the school oven doesn’t work. Yikes! Ok – now what? Thankfully, a good friend of mine lives right outside the school, so I stopped by to ask if I could use her oven. A few important questions to ask someone when borrowing their oven (because I did not know this, but ovens vary greatly here):
- How big is your oven?
- What temperatures does it allow?
- Do you have gas?
For the record, I am incredibly grateful to my friend and her oven. Let me repeat that – Thank you, Gabby for the use of your oven. (Mil gracias por dejarme usar su horno.)
Though after several failed attempts to jam multiple pies in the oven (leading to an overflow of pumpkin soup), an extended baking time of 2 hours due to a cooking temperature 150º less than the recommended temperature, and soliciting the help of 3 men and a pick-up truck to haul a gas tank the weight of an elephant to and from my house, if you receive unsatisfactory answers to any of the questions above, you’re guaranteed laughs out the wazoo, though for your sanity…I recommend going with the mashed potatoes.