Sunday, August 12, 2012


   A big part of any culture is the food, so here is "the food" post, I  really like El Salvadoran food and just to be clear it is not like Mexican food.  Yes tortillas, but even that is made a little differently here.
let me show you.
           If you ask for a quesadilla here this is what you will get.  The only way I know how to describe it is that it is the texture of cornbread but tasted like cheesecake. It's yummy!

What is that and how do you eat it?  Is something I say a lot.  I can't remember the name of the  "spiky strawberries"  but the green stuff is called loroco, its actually a flower bud, it is used to flavor dips, spreads, cheese and salad.   

Why we only have one flavor of Tang in Utah, I don't know but seriously,  move over cool aid!!

Honey so fresh there is still a bee in it. 
(If you buy it in the street it is sold in a vodka bottle.)

This is a Zapote. Yummy! I made a bread out of this and it was really good!
video here:

coconut candy on the plate, peace corps made pineapple, passion fruit, and strawberry jams.  And a jar of bee pollen.

Chicken, chicken, everywhere!   They use every part of the chicken including the feet I tried chicken feet soup, not my favorite but I can say I tried it.

You can not talk about El Salvadorian food without the pupusa.  A pupusa is a tortilla stuffed with beans, cheese, and if you choose meat, or if you are my kids, just a tortilla with cheese inside.  And a cabbage salad on top with a super yummy tomatoe salsa dressing. 

Fresh fish at the beach, with a side of massive stomachache.

And for today's grand finale... corn flavored ice cream!  Avocado I can get behind, chicle, my kids love, but corn?   I love you anyway El Salvador!!

Monday, May 14, 2012


  Better late than never right? This year we were able to witness Semmana Santa in El Salvador. Joseph's school had a Easter egg hunt and we went to the U.S. Embassy egg hunt. Other than that no eggs no bunny's no chicks no springtime. But we still managed to have fun. Hahaha!
We went to see the alfombras (carpets) in the streets in Antigua Cuscatlan. They are made of sawdust and colored salt.  A...mazing!
Joseph and Dallin really wanted to help, not a chance this is serious business. And yes if you look closely Judas is hanging from the telephone wire.
Our tour guide, Melanie, I love this girl!

 Pupusa Break!!
 This is the moment we have all been waiting for, the procession.  The "body of Christ" is in this casket and there was a whole parade of  disciples behind it.  I choose to remember Christ in a different way but I was touched by the dedication this takes.  


This is an El Salvador birthday tradition that we have now adopted as a new Markland family Easter tradition.   The boys had a blast smashing the eggs.  A bit messy but totally worth it.  

 Joseph's school celebrated a traditional North American Easter egg hunt.  Ummm... when did he become such a stud?? 

Our beloved Paz made us some traditional Semana Santa food.   These are Torejas, kinda like french toast but made with a sweet bread/cake and soaked in a sugarcane cinamon mixture.   I loved it!!   But it was too sweet for Ben and too different for the boys,  so I got the whole bowl to myself. finger lickin'  good!
We also had ayote en Miel, which is like sweet potatoes in a sweet spicy glaze. Remo lacha (baked beets and veggies)  We had fish, dried super smelly fish.  woah!! way too strong!! I could taste it for days  and I only had one bite.
and last but not least Tres Leches!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

From Thursday to Beach in 2 hours flat!

Today Ben called me to ask if I had anything going on the next 2 days Usually when he does this he is making sure its ok if he is M.I.A. for said days. Not this time!!! I had nothing but normal pick up drop off routine going on. When he said he had reservations for us at the beach and I had one hour to get ready I was all about it! I love surprises! And the fact that we live close enough to a beach to do that, surreal, totally surreal!

The sound of my children squealing in anticipation as a wave gets closer and then laughing when it knocks their littleness over is a very good sound.

When Ben gives me that look with his smile that's lights up my world surrounded by one of mother natures greatest wonders I think wow! What a blessed girl I am!

Life has been so busy for Ben here. I am so glad he decided to come up for air today! (although he tells me this is it from Monday to June). Today life is good! Thanks for the surprise Superman!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Joseph lost his first teeth!

Joseph has had 2 loose teeth for a few days. Well, today at school they both came out! The nurse even put the teeth in a little tooth necklace to bring home. I guess he is not the first one to lose a tooth at school. I am a little sad we did not get to witness this grand event but I'm not sad I did not see the blood. Joseph reports there was a lot on the towel his teacher used. Hahaha! He has a very strong stomach. He thinks shots tickle.
I am totally unprepared to suddenly have a child who can tie his shoes and have a visit from The tooth fairy. Somehow, I feel more official as a mother now. I didn't realize I didn't feel that official. Sometimes it just hits ya.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Joseph turns 5!

My sweet little Joseph boy turned 5 last month! We are so happy to have him in our family he is a very special kid. Joseph has been such a good sport with the move to El Salvador. He left his home his grandparents his cousins and friends and he took it all in stride. He even helps comfort his little brother about it when he has a hard time.
A couple of weeks ago we had a rough day in this Markland home nothing seemed to be going right, the kids were out of control the house was a mess and then Ben and I started arguing about something. Joseph came up to us and said, "guys I think we need to say a prayer". After the prayer I apologized to everyone for letting myself get so crazy and Joseph said "mommy it's ok we said a prayer and now you are forgiven." thanks for being strong when I was weak Joseph.
He is the peacemaker among his friends and he makes friends easily. His teacher says he plays with the Spanish speaking children very well. So brave! Translating into Spanish doesn't seem to be a problem.
Yesterday Joseph showed me something he had made out of bend-ables. I was impressed and told him he was very creative. He was so excited he kept saying it over and over again "I am very creative!" sometimes he can be a little too creative and he can talk circles around me to the point I get so flustered I start to think maybe he is right and I am wrong. And then I realize he wants me to relieve him of any responsibility for his actions and I remember who is supposed to be the parent. He gets this gift from his father who would be a great cult leader because he can make you think that the sky is the ground without even running out of breath.
Joseph had a pool party for his birthday this year. Being a February baby this may never happen again.
A party tradition here is to have an eggshell filled with confetti and crack it on someone else's head. First you must find it and then you can crack it and watch the confetti fly. It was super fun!
I love my Joseph!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Weekend at the Beach

For Ben's birthday weekend we stayed at a resort on the beach.   Ben has been so dang busy since we got here so it was really great to have him all to ourselves for 24 hours. 

We pretty much had the place to ourselves. 

 So beautiful!! 
 Mother nature's finest.  And the ocean is nice too.
I finally got to wear my hat!  

 For the first little while the kids  would not let go of me when the waves came in.  Joseph got really brave, maybe a little too brave sometimes,  I had to give him the "you will die talk "  he survived so I guess it worked. 

 Is there anything better than exhausted kids from genuine hard core play? 
We brought home lots of shell's 

Classic buried in the sand photo.
The best part of  having kids is that we still get to be kids!!

Factory Tours

We have quite a few Factory's here in El Salvador.  Our friends from the Embassy invited us to come on a tour of the candle and pencil factory's.  It was actually really interesting.   Here are a few of the highlights.
 Little Dallin patiently waiting for his turn to make a candle. (the little blond head in the front)

 Joseph Making his candle.  The factory owner is right behind him.  A very nice guy.  Too bad I blurred him out of the picture.   

 The final product!  This candle kept Dallin entertained all day.  He could not stop touching it.

Silly faces.  (Joseph, Abraham, and Dallin) 

Different factory same silly faces.  

This is how a pencil starts out, 2 flat pieces of wood with grooves just the right size for the lead.  Glue the pieces together and sit it in a vice overnight. 

Then the glued wood blocks go through the cutting machine and now its starting to  look a little like a pencil.  

Now they get painted, super fast with no drying time. 

Gracias Senior tour guide for the glob of  stinky paint on a stick. 

Now we stamp the brand name on our nearly finished product.  

Now they are sharpened with sandpaper.    These are colored pencils so no need for eraser.  

Disfrute!   Enjoy!
Thank you Mellissa for inviting us!