Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Gringa and Making Flour Tortillas / Wheelchair Giveaway in Choluteca

Finally I have learned to make flour tortillas. It seemed like an ominous task to learn in light of the fact that everyone around me makes 50 tortillas a day and I didn't even know the ingredients. They grab a ball of maza (tortilla dough), throw it into the palm of their hands and in seconds a perfect tortilla is formed.

The maza was intimidating because it is kind of like Grandma Wallace’s biscuits. They throw in a dab of this and a dab of that and there is no measuring and out come these perfect tortillas. One of the things I wanted to do this year was to learn to make flour tortillas. I have now accomplished that goal!

Flour Tortillas

3 1/2 Cups of Flour
1 Teaspoon Soda
1 Teaspoon Salt

Combine well and make a hole in the middle of the mix. This hole is where you will place the shortening and pour the water. (This is the part that reminds me of Grandma Wallace)
7 Tablespoons of Shortening
1 Cup Hot Water

Mix with your hands for 3 minutes.

Make a ball and cover it.

Wait 15 while the dough rests and then make your tortillas.

After the dough sets, divide the dough into golf size balls.

Thanks to my friend Erlinda for loaning me her hands for the photo.

Unless you are Honduran and can do it with your hands, you then heavily flour your cutting board or a placemat and heavily flour your rolling pin and start rolling. Try to make them a round circle. It is a bit hard to do, but practice helps.

Then you place them on a hot griddle to lightly brown. Flip them and wrap them up in a towel! Yes, that is correct, wrap them in a towel. I always have a towel inside a baggie inside the refrigerator. Always! You cannot serve a meal in Honduras without tortillas. Usually I buy my tortillas from a friend who makes them. But now I know how to make them myself! Yea!

By tomorrow they will be perfect for soft tacos and I have a recipe for Mango Avocado Salsa I want to try. I saw hundreds of people selling mangos on the side of the road today, so I will get what I need to make the salsa and give you the recipe tomorrow.

Wheelchairs and Happy Faces

Today was the wheelchair giveaway in Choluteca, Honduras. Doña Sonja Lovo of the Flamingo Hotel in Choluteca, a long time SMART Team volunteer, had been collecting paperwork from recipients for weeks and today was the day. I bought 2 new tires for the truck and headed to Choluteca by myself. It is very rare that I drive by myself, but today was one of those days. I turned on the stereo and listened to my Bible on CD and took off through the mountains. I arrived in almost record time, as I didn’t stop at my usual place to buy cheese and I didn’t stop to visit friends on the way. Over the years I have made many friends along the road and usually I stop and visit with a friend or two on the way.

Today I was in a hurry because the tires that were supposed to take 30 minutes to change were not even at the tire store when I arrived. After waiting for them to arrive, I sat and waited as the guys that were supposed to be putting them on chatted and chatted and chatted. Finally I went out to the garage and picked up the air compressor lug nut taker- off-er thing-a-ma-jig and they decided if they didn’t do the work, I might.

The wheelchair giveaway was a blast as usual! The case which broke my heart was a young woman who was paralyzed giving birth to her second child, a son. She cannot move her arms or legs and has been confined to the bed for five years since he was born.

She is so thin, it is scary, but she has a brilliant smile.

Her Christian neighbor found out about the wheelchair giveaway and made sure all the paperwork was in our hands where she could receive a free wheelchair.

Then her neighbor brought her to the Hotel to receive her chair. The neighbor prayed with her, thanking God for providing the wheelchair which they had been praying for her to receive for several years.

Her husband lifted her carefully into the chair.
The smile says it all!

Free Wheelchair Mission gives us wheelchairs to give away to people in need. Thank you to Ernest and Linette Gaudet Family Trust who donated funds to pay for diesel, bus trips and various expenses for this wheelchair giveaway trip.

Below are the photos of the others who received chairs today.

People were waiting in line when I arrived. They actually arrived early.
As usual the Boy Scout Troop from Choluteca helped us put all the chairs together. They are such a blessing!

After the people were given their wheelchairs and instructions in the parking lot of Hotel Flamingo, we took the group to the street. It caused a commotion and one of the television stations showed up to take video.

Dr.Canales Director of the Hospital Del Sur in Choluteca showed up to receive 5 wheelchairs for the hospital. Since SMART Medical Teams frequently have medical brigades at the hospital we are all to aware of the need for wheelchairs. Last time we were at the hospital a woman that was 9 1/2 months pregnant stood for 20 minutes while they prepared the room for her cesarean.
It is always fun to see the people going home.

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