Tag Archives: cacao

loca for locrio

21 Apr

Hello world!  Sickness-free, though I´m now suffering from a massive food coma.  My host sister and I just finished cooking a traditional dish called locrio – tasty, easy, and very filling.  It´s rice cooked and mixed with your choice of meat and veggies, we made ours with pork chop.  Here´s a basic recipe:

  1. Mash garlic and salt together in mortar with pestle
  2. Saute in a good-sized pot with your choice of meat and a bit of oil
  3. Throw in diced tomato, cilantro (leaves and stems), tomatoes, onion, two boullion cubes, water, tomato paste, and corn (any veggies you want really) – make sure to taste the sauce before you add the rice so it doesn´t come out too bland, you´ll probably need to add more salt
  4. Add 2 cups water for every 1 cup of rice you want to cook
  5. Cover, stirring every once and a while, until rice is cooked through

And that´s it!  Like most of the food we eat here, the slower and longer it cooks, the tastier it gets 🙂  You can also make it more of a soup simply by adding more water when you start cooking the rice.

This past week we finished conducting our business interviews.  I chose to interview my host dad, who has an agricultural business, as well as a neighbor who sells homemade popsicles out of her house (a difficult task given that the luz comes and goes as she pleases).  My dad grows cacao, plátano, grapefruit, cherries, herbs, and coconut, and also raises pigs, chickens, and bees.  However, he only sells cacao, plantains, honey, and pork.  The rest is used for family consumption.  Both were very interesting to talk to; I was able to work on my interviewing skills, which I´ll have to put to use during my diagnostic phase of service, while learning about business practices in the Dominican Republic.  Our trainers provided us with a lengthy list of questions regarding various topics including organizational structure, accounting, technology, and income.  Some were definitely easier to ask than others, especially because very few people here keep any records what so ever.  Unfortunately, many people consider income to be the same as profit, which led me to believe that my neighbor´s ice cream may in fact be more of an expensive hobby than a money-making business.

On Wednesday, we were reunited with our beloved friends from the Education sector.  Unfortunately, it was for the purpose of listening to lengthy and semi-depressing medical lectures.  BUT they did leave us about 2 hours of free time at the end of the day to swim at the location´s pond-like pool.  Many of them already know a good amount of information regarding their individual site-placements, where as we have yet to be told anything.  Regardless, our visit with them seemed too brief, but we´ll see them again in just over two weeks for the last bit of training before our site-reveal and swearing-in ceremony.

Thursday, we held another charla from the second module of the Somos Mujeres initiative.  This week, we made Suavitel, a detergent.  The ladies were very happy to be able to take something home, especially since it smelled so lovely.  Four of us helped Sasha lead two dinámicas (icebreakers – more on these later), Telephone and Peso Caliente.

Friday we took our second CBT evaluation.  Also, a current volunteer came to visit our Spanish class.  Because we´re the advanced class, she wants us to help out with a few activities at the Construye Tus Sueños conference in two weeks!  All of us trainees will participate in the conference with kids that graduated from the course, then our class will help current volunteers lead various sessions.  I´ll write more on this after I´ve attended the conference, but essentially, Construye Tus Sueños is an entrepreneurial course for kids.  Can´t wait to learn more about it, and to see the kids (and us!) in action.

Later that night, we all went down to the river to build a bonfire.  Given my Girl Scout background, I was in charge of building the fire!  High-pressure job, but with a rewarding outcome.  We stayed there for a few hours – drinking Brugal, munching on caña, watching fireflies, avoiding mosquitos, and enjoying spending time together outside of our official training classes.  Only thing missing was s´mores…

And last but not least, click here for a taste of bachata, served with a side of Usher.  I´m off to the Bomba!