Saturday, March 2, 2013

Beautiful flora and unrecognizable eats of Trinidad

Several of you live in places in the world that haven't even shown a hint of spring approaching!  This post is for you!  After the darkness, there IS light!  I had to share some of these  beautiful flowers of Trinidad that we enjoy all year! Flowers will return for you, too, in the near future!
 Isn't this sunset gorgeous!
 These are just random flowers in trees and bushes along the roads.
 We drove down a few streets and took pictures all along the way.....
 It helps to have a rain forest climate.

Looks like a bridal bouquet
 Some of them grow in front of shacks......
 Some in front of mansions
 I thought the variety would cheer you up, if there is still snow outside at your house!
 Some remind me of Butchart gardens!
 If I had lots of time, I'd look them all up and tell you the names.......alas......
 Instead, it is a feast for your eyes to remind you of what is coming........

 Don't try to grow these in Saint George!!
 Or Chicago, Salt Lake or California.  Well, maybe California.
 My daughter Rachel wrote this story in an email.  I had to record it to preserve this interaction between cousins.  She was taking care of our son Jordan’s children for a few days so her children Carter(5) and Beckett(3) were playing with their cousin, Skyler(4) at our home when this happened.  “A picture of Sister Monson and Beckett flashed up on our screen saver this morning and Skyler, Carter, and Beckett were all talking about it and then Skyler said, "I miss Nana!  She's too far away!  Then Carter said, yeah she's on a mission for a long long time and Skyler said, " "yeah, you just have to talk to her on the dumb computer!":)  So Rachel said, "Yes that's really sad that we can't give her hugs and play with her in person but she is being a missionary for Jesus so that's happy!!!" 
 The sun piercing through is a pretty touch, don'tcha think?
 The last of the beautiful flowers of Trinidad.  On to the really-strange-looking vegetables!
 We stopped at one of the myriad of fresh produce stands and took these pictures.  No, these are not strange peas!
 I asked her the names of all these things and now, days later,  I can't remember any of them.  Well, a few.  These are not beans!  We thought they were initially; cut them up and made them look like fresh beans, cooked and seasoned them like fresh beans.  Yeah, they are NOT fresh beans.
 The next four root vegetables are all bizarre imitations of various food stuffs we have in the United States.  These, we initially decided at Thanksgiving, were yams.  They are light yellow inside, and cooked sort of like yams, except I had to cook them THREE times as long and with twice as much sauce!  They turned out ok....vaguely reminiscent of the traditional recipe.
Yup!  This is the real deal!  This hunk of bark is, in reality, a yam!  Seriously!
 We have become really good friends with a local farmer, Grant. He always gives us fresh vegetables and we have had some amazing discussions. He recently accepted book of Mormon, promised to read it, and has helped us collect things for YSA activities.  He is such a great man.  Anyway, he has two lots where he grows local vegetables such as these. We have learned a ton about his business.  He explained that all the vegetables people eat here in Trinidad look really marginal on the outside because the best looking are the only ones people will buy.  So the local people eat all the natural, ugly ones.  He said most of the perfect fruits and vegetables that we have in the US are grown in hot houses and controlled environments instead of natural growers where they really don't look that perfect. He has shared many of his vegetables with us and though they aren't perfect looking, they taste delicious; tomatoes, cucumbers, bok choy, green peppers.  We walk right past his lots on our 6:30 am walks and frequently stop to talk with him.  What a worker!  He is our age, but looks 20 years younger.  They all do!  Black skin just ages better!  We met and talked recently with a woman that had truly beautiful skin.  We thought she was about 35. She actually showed us her drivers license because we could not believe that she was 60!!!!
 Another root something....mashed up, maybe??
Plantains!  You know these. I like regular bananas better! Elder Monson's description: "They don't have the flavor of bananas and they taste like wood pulp!"  Hmmmm.  I wonder when he tasted wood pulp??
So what is going on with this picture you might be asking?  Elder Monson is now the car czar!! This new, additional-and-temporary assignment means we get bikes stacked all over the apartment and three cars we are temporarily responsible for stored out in front, and non- stop calls about accidents, and reports to file over and over, and those of you who know Elder Monson well know of his long and illustrious career as a car mechanic!!!  He is, of course, doing a great job and hoping against hope that this really is a temporary assignment!  Since he has had this assignment, there have been two car accidents, two bikes stolen, and a third bike-car accident that almost killed an elder.  (He's fine, and it was a miracle!) This was despite the fact that the first thing Elder Monson did as car czar, after his accident, was to send out an email informing all the missionaries that accidents were not allowed!  Have a great week!


  1. That's hilarious that Dad is in charge of the cars/bikes. The flowers are amazing! They remind me of Hawaii. I want to see a picture of Grant and the 60 year old lady who looked 35. I bet the vegetables you are eating are so much better for you than the ones we have here. The ugly ones are all covered in crappy chemicals. Have a good week!

  2. Loved the flowers. They renewed my spirit, it is cold today. I think they decided that since it is March they can turn the heat off at school. I too would love to see the picture of the 60 year old woman.