1000 Word Wednesdays – April 30th, 2014

1000 Word Wednesdays – April 30th, 2014

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1000 Word Wednesdays – April 23th 2014

These kids are eager to the join the ranks of great metal drummers.

These kids are eager to the join the ranks of great metal drummers. Johnny Metal Drummer always has one loyal fan! Give that girl a guitar and let her shred.

When we were working at the store in Puerto Barrios, we would receive cargo containers with random products on them. Our job was to sort through these goods and inventory them. It provided some excitement because we were never certain of what we would find.

The first container we had inventoried in our POS system arrived in February 2013. When digging through one of the pallets, I found this wonderful gem!

Now it looks like your average, run-of-the-mill children’s drum set but it is much more than that. Inside this package holds the power to join the ranks of metal drummers across the world. Drummers from bands like Children of Bodom (Lake Bodom), Blind Guardian (A voice in the dark), or Metallica (Master of Puppets).

My friend is a big metal head, so I showed him the drum kid and we had a good laugh about it. I am secretly hoping there is a kid somewhere in Guatemala playing the little drum set while head banging to some metal.

I’ll be keeping my eyes (and ears) peeled over the following years for up and rising Guatemalan metal bands, all thanks to this “Metal Drum Set” (:

1000 Word Wednesdays – April 16th 2014

Strawberries are in abundance in the market!

Strawberries are in abundance in the market!

Strawberries are easily one of my favorite fruits! I recall growing up in the country when I was younger and loving the summer time because we had raspberry and strawberry plants growing on our 5 acre yard. Our golden retriever loved to help me pick the strawberries and I would help her with the raspberries so she wouldn’t get a mouth full of thorns!

Living in the states, strawberries were very expensive, so I never really had the chance to enjoyed them unless they were on sale. Even then, they would be anywhere from 3 to 5 dollars a pound. (Maybe we just weren’t in a good region for strawberries?). If you are like me, that pound of strawberries can easily be eaten in one setting.

So move forward to the present. I went to the market for the first time and checked out the selection of fruit. Vendors were yelling the prices of various frutas and telling me how their products were the best around! (for a point of reference, 1 dollar = about Q8)
Pineapple – Q6, Q10, Q15!
Apples – Q10 per bag (4 or 5 small apples)
Mangos – Q10 per bag (5 mangos)
Grapes – Q10 per bag (about 1.5 pounds)

Strawberries – Dos Libras por Q5

Wait… did I hear that right? 2 pounds of strawberries for Q5??? That’s not even 30 cents a pound! Before you start crunching numbers to prove me wrong, remember that even though the vendors said “2 pounds”, some still used kilogram weights to measure. 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds. The slight technicality actually worked in my favor. 🙂

With excitement and still some disbelief, I told the lady I wanted 4 pounds of strawberries. She had to ask me to make sure that’s what I wanted and I said yes. She bagged up 4 pounds and said “That will be Q10”. I handed her the money and gave a look of “Oh don’t worry, I’m going to eat these all in 3 days and I’ll be back to buy another 4 pounds”.

I will give you a word of advice though. It’s best to go to the market early in the morning to get the freshest strawberries. As you can see from the picture, I bought these strawberries around 10 am and they were “muy rico!”

It feels like I have reunited with a long lost love. Strawberries are a part of my diet everyday and I couldn’t be happier!
This concludes my 1000 Word Wednesdays story, but I will give you a big of knowledge as to why strawberry are considered a super food (compliments of http://www.care2.com/):

1. Helps burn stored fat
The red coloring contains anthocyanins, which stimulate the burning of stored fat. When a group of animals was fed a high-fat diet along with anthocyanins, they gained 24 percent less weight than the animals eating the high-fat diet without added anthocyanins. (The Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry)

2. Boost short term memory
The anthocyanins boost short term memory by 100 percent in eight weeks. (The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry)

3. Low in Calories – High in Fiber
One cup contains only 54 calories.

4. Ease Inflammation
Strawberries lower blood levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), a signal of inflammation in the body. In a study, women who ate 16 or more strawberries per week were 14 percent less likely to have elevated levels of CRP. (Harvard School of Public Health.)

5. Lower cardiovascular disease
Flavonoids — which are responsible for the colour and flavour of strawberries — lower the risk for heart disease.

6. Promote bone health
Strawberries contain potassium, vitamin K and magnesium which are important for bone health.

7. Prevent oesophageal cancer
Studies show freeze-dried strawberry powder may help prevent human oesophageal cancer.

8. Anti-aging properties
Strawberries are filled with biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. They also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to prevent sagging. 

9. Good for weight loss
The compound nitrate found promotes blood flow and oxygen in our body, which is great for weight loss.

10. Promote eye health
Eating three or more servings of fruit like strawberries may lower the risk of macular degeneration, a condition resulting in vision loss. (Archives of Ophthalmology)

1000 Word Wednesdays – April 9th 2014

So much awesome, I am not sure how we contained ourselves

So much awesome, I am not sure how we contained ourselves

To understand the fashions in this picture, you must understand the people involved:

To the left we have Carolyn, rocking her Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back t-shirt with a pair of black jeans (which are so terribly uncomfortable on a hot day. If you have ever worn these types of jeans on hot day, you know exactly what I am talking about. They are weaved from demonic material that is designed to make you miserable). Noticed her crimped hair as well. She was obviously prepared for some sort of theme party and pondering the presence of large logs.

Next to her we have Trista. She’s enjoying the theme party by sporting long leggings and arm sleeves. To complete the costume, she incorporates the classic white dress.

There is one problem, however. People want to take a picture, but Trista doesn’t have time for that. She is hungry and there is pizza. The formula is quite simple for Trista: Pizza > Other things (including taking pictures)

Then you have me. I was not prepared for anything. My costume is basically a bunch of random clothes from my closet that don’t match and look terrible. But in my lack of clothing coordination, I have competed the theme. Thankfully the era of said theme was favorable for lack of coordination and terrible styles.

On the far right, we have Chance. He is ready for action! His outfit features a staple of the party theme: Cut off jeans. Now normally I would say that men should never wear cut off jeans, but Chance’s pose in this picture really accentuates the better qualities about those cut offs. The outfit is complete with a denim jean jacket, which has a nice furry collar to keep you warm during the long South Dakota winters.

And last but not least, we have Large Log. Large Log was not aware he was coming to the theme party as he was grabbed from the back of my car moments before entering the house. He stills makes the best of it however, by showing off his bare bark skin. It’s a risky move in the fashion world, but Large Log has been around for longer than any of us. His experience had allowed him to find a balance between risky/over the top and cutting edge.

You can see I am in deep thought about Large Log. I was skeptical about his importance in this shoot. Mostly I thought what we were going to do with him after the party.

Would we start a campfire and cook some hotdogs?
Would we whittle him in a neat little statue or figurine?
Could we use him as a night stand?
If someone tried to break into the house and crash our party, we could use him as a weapon!

Ultimately, when the night ended, Large Log was never to been seen again. He had his 15 minutes of fame and faded like a shooting star. He will be missed!

I hope you enjoyed this fashion review, come back next Wednesday for another picture with a fun story!

By the way, can you guess the theme of the party? (other than birthday party from the banner hanging in the corner)

1000 Word Wednesdays – April 2nd 2014

Image

El Pollo

Count Cluckula

Here we have El Pollo (the chicken). If you are not interested in the lifestyles and hobbies of el pollo, I suggest you leave right now! Otherwise stick around for 1000 words or less about this particular chicken.

Our story starts at our neighborhood in Puerto Barrios. Our house sits within concrete walls, but even that was not enough to stop the terror lurking within.
Ants! Ants everywhere! I’m not talking about little, ole black ants; Oh no, these are jungle ants. Their bodies grow to about half an inch and they are mean! They were invading the land, completely destroying any vegetation in their way to strengthen their underground empire, and their next target was our home. The war had been waging many months before we moved down here, but now it was time to take action. *Cue Braveheart music and throw a sword in the air*

Our battle started with setting up a RAID perimeter and securing entry points. We held back a vast majority of the onslaught, but we were still losing the war. We needed to turn the tide but how?

One day, we came home from work to see our forces had recruited some new allies. Los Pollos had joined our cause and aimed to turn the tide! The Guatemalan and Americans all rejoiced in their respective languages – Cheers of “Yeeeeiiii” “Haaaaayyyy” and “All right you damn ants, this ends today!” rang through the battlefield.

Los pollos forces were few, but what they lacked in numbers they made up for with ferocity on the battlefield. Lead by their fearless leader “Count Cluckula” (pictured above), the Elite Coup Group ravaged the ants marching through the lands towards our base. Relentlessly clawing at the ground while stabbing the enemy with their razor shape beaks and pin-point accuracy, the colony had meant their match. Soon the Elite Coup Group had staged a counter-offensive! Pushing the opponent back towards their home base. It was only a matter of time before this war would end.

Everything seemed promising and the invading ant armies were in disarray! But just as the tides had turned in our favor, tragedy would once again throw this war off balance. The Elite Coup Group suffered great loss within the same day – “The Bride of Clucky” and “Count Cluckula” had been slain on the battlefield. There was little time to grieve their lose because the ants had already launched a wave of attacks against our home base.

I wish I could tell you this story has a happy ending, but that is not the case. The ants overran our base and there was nothing we could do to stop them. They controlled a small part of the kitchen and we set up boarders to prevent them from taking more of our land. Tensions ran high, but for the time being, things seemed to be at peace.

We had a memorial service for our fallen comrades and the great leader “Count Cluckula”. Here are some of the memoirs from his own personal diary and recollections regarding the Barrios Ant War of 2013:

June 26th: “Bawk! What is the meaning of life? Why are we created to harm one another?”
“Why is the sky blue?”
June 27th: “There are so many ants here. Food.”
June 28th: “War. What is it good for? Ants.”
June 29th: “It’s the weekend. What day is it?”
“I’m going to take a nap on the roof”
July 1st: “My legs hurt, I fell off the roof”
“Oh look, ants. Food.”
July 4th: “Loud noises. Fireworks. I’m going to dig in this garbage”
July 10th: “I should do more chicken things”
Today’s Goals: Do chicken things
July 15th: “Shiny things on the ground, how you glisten in the sun. You are not food. Oh shiny thing, you look delicious. Shiny thing is not food. Oh look, a shiny thing!”
July 26th: “As I live the last days of my life, I wonder about life. Why are there so many ants here. I’m hungry”
July 30th: “One my last day of life. This war will never end. What is our purpose here? I’m a chicken.”

When Count Cluckula wasn’t fending off the jungles ants, he enjoyed many hobbies, including:

  • Eating
  • Walking
  • Digging in the dirt
  • Roosting
  • Falling off the roof
  • Digging in garbage
  • Digging a roost
  • Clawing at concrete like he was trying to dig
  • Doing chicken things
  • Being a chicken
  • Pondering life
  • Forgetting things he had pondered because he’s a chicken

Count Cluckula, we will never forget the great deeds you do for us in those few months. You will be missed.

(Not exactly 1000 words but if you enjoyed this story please like, reblog, or stop by every Wednesday for a new story inspired by a real picture. If you would like to play along, leave a comment with you own story and the tag “1000 Word Wednesdays” in the comments below. I would love to come read it! Have a great day! See category “1000 Word Wednesdays” roll over for full details)