Sunday, 30 December 2012

Merry Christmas, Kids.

I lied. My promised "few days" lieu turned into a few more days and consequently into a few weeks. Family visits don't happen very often so I determined to enjoy every bit of it. I'm sure you don't hold that against me.
However, my recess leaves lots for me to catch up on. Beginning with the orphanage.

I volunteer at a children's home every monday afternoon. Our last visit of the year was the much anticipated Christmas Party! Due to some changes, the kids were not going to receive presents for Christmas this year. I talked to my dad about it and he arrived in Grenada loaded with toys, games, crayons, and dolls, donations from Canada.

All fourteen kids rushed at our bus as we pulled into the compound. Dad tagged along to enjoy our Christmas cheer and ended up having a fantastic time. The kids were fascinated by dad and was asked more than once if he was Santa. He didn't mind.

One happy daughter!

The party started with cookie decorating. Icing, sprinkles, coloured gel migrated to the plain cookies to become delicious masterpieces. Of course, sometimes the masterpiece ended up on the face instead of the tummy.

Part II: Presents. We loaded a suitcase full of goodies for the kids. The mix of Canadian donations and our own contribution resulted in multiple presents for each child. After waiting for the gift distribution,  sounds of tearing paper and shouts of happiness filled the humid air.

All ready to be opened!

I have never seen a reaction like I saw that day. Joy is the only word that could come to mind. Who ever thought that electric cars and nail polish could elicit such happiness? 

Then it was time to play! Dad joined right in, working with R on his new puzzle.

And playing with cars.

The christmas party was a smashing success. We left some sugar-high and hyper kids with toys and teddies in hand. It was a day I won't forget...especially since I shared the day with my dad.

I hope you all had a merry Christmas and plan on having a fun-filled New Year!

Monday, 10 December 2012


I haven't forgotten you. I'm working on an especially good post and want it to be be patient. It's coming in a few days. Picture editing, beach limin', and some partying is required before I'm ready to unleash my adventures to the world.

To help you hold on, here are some teaser pics. Enjoy.

There's a cookie under there...somewhere..

Warning: my next post is going to be photo-happy. Kinda like this little guy.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Christmas is coming

The calendar says Christmas is near. The weather doesn't. Grenada repeats a continual August therefore the passage of time can only be noted calendar events, like the End of Term Social.  End of Term Social has marked the close of our first four months in Grenada. Students still have exams, of course, but the social was the final event for us wonderful SOs. Our dinner social was held at Dodgy Dock, a lovely resort/restaurant located at True Blue Bay. It's a great place to for limin' and was a pleasant venue for saying farewells to friends not returning after the new year. Students attended for one last breather before the craziness of finals begins.

Food at Dodgy dock
 Oceanside tables and ribs provided a nice break from cleaning and studying for Justin and me. We enjoyed our time chatting with friends before they disperse for Christmas break. Most students will be finished with exams at the end of next week and begin the return to family.

Restaurant on the dock
Christmas in Grenada is sure to be much different than any Christmas I've ever known. Busses blast reggae versions of Christmas carols. Secretly I laugh every time I see snowmen or snowflakes decorating cars and malls because I know that half of the population has never seen snow. With my family joining us for the holidays, I want to feel like Christmastime happens in Grenada, too. My biggest wish was to have a Christmas tree. A friend told me to forget about it...trees are expensive. 

My New Tree!!

Well, I found my tree! It's only three feet high but it's absolutely perfect. One of my trips into town led me to spot trees in the window of a hardware store. Trees are available most places but they really do cost a fortune. This hardware store had my little tree upstairs for a reasonable cost and even had pretty little decorations for it! Needless to say, I was thrilled!

Topping the tree

This Christmas will be Zoey's first as a part of our little family. Christmas trees proved to be an exciting addition to our house. Ever suspicious, she had to see what was up. She couldn't quite figure out why the little tree received more attention than her!

We finally spruced the little guy up and beheld our lovely tabletop Christmas tree. I thought I'd have to settle with a Charlie Brown palm branch but Christmas came to me in a much happier way. (I plan on watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas" sitting next to my lovely tree.)

After a few crafts and addition of candy canes, our Christmas tree has become a thing of festivity and joy.  Slowly but surely additional ornaments and presents will brighten up that corner of our living room. Christmas will happen in Grenada after all.

P.S Green Monkey? The toy monkey is Zoey's birthday present. Justin put it in the tree to be funny. It was funny but the monkey is now beside my tree patiently waiting until the 18th for my puppy's first birthday.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Fish Friday

Grenada contains many gems if you know where to find them. This beautiful country has several mountains and waterfalls I've been itching to hike. I have a list of local food venues I want to try. Topping the list was Fish Friday.

Fish friday happens every Friday in a small northern town called Gouyave. Most people drive or bus, but the SOs decided to arrive by boat, in style. The Carib Cat (Carib is a locally brewed beer) loaded fifteen SOs from Grand Anse Beach and set off on our hour-something trip. The sun was setting as we waited but was completely down when we set sail. Our distance from shore gave a unique perspective of Grenada, the island. On board, friends laughed and mingled while sipping rum punch. This outing gave a great opportunity to meet people outside of one's typical circle. I enjoyed sailing up the coastline while chatting in the dark with new friends. Though I'm not a boat person by any definition, I'll admit cruising proved to be a fun way to travel.

Everyone loves Fish Friday. I will insert that the hype about it can be deceiving. The event is held in random alleyways among bars and loitering people. The alley is narrow and dirty. Music blares and forget about finding a seat. Bear that in mind. All that being said, Fish Friday was a terrific time! I knew it wouldn't be anything fancy but I didn't expect so much variety or deliciousness! Throughout the night I consumed lobster pizza, fish kabobs, and my favourite, fish spring rolls!

SOs spread out among the booths and readily shared recommendations of favourite dishes. My favourite recommendation pick was shark. I don't know what kind of shark or if "shark" is really Grenadian slang for some other fish ("Dolfin" is another name for Mahi-Mahi in Grenada) but it tasted good!

The food was great. Everything I ate was under $10EC giving the opportunity to try multiple dishes. I ate until full without trying everything. Definitely means I need to return.

Lobster Kabob (and one happy man!)
Half of the fun was food. The other half was friends. We all had so much fun chatting about nothing while gobbling down fish cakes and drinking passionfruit juice. Our husbands came along with the girls to take a well deserved study break (which Justin really needed). We were limin' amid butchered Christmas songs in Caribbean style. You couldn't help but dance to "O Holy Night."

Limin' in Grenada
Homemade banana ice cream was a fun treat we tried. The lady was churning it right before our eyes in metal buckets and ice. Soft and creamy, it was a good end to our meal.

Everyone had a great time and we all made it home alive and full. The moon decided to appear on our trip home making the water silvery and bright. Food comas made the trip home quiet and peaceful. Fish Friday was a smashing success. I'm definitely going back to pick up where I left off.

Good name for a beached boat.
Tired, full, and happy :)

Friday, 30 November 2012

St. George's

Downtown St. George's
Grenada may be a small island but so often it feels huge. It's all a matter of perspective, really. Driving a few kilometres back home never felt like a hassle. Here the 7 kilometre bus ride into "town" can seem so inconvenient. However, Justin and I decided to make time this past weekend. We made a day of it as he had never walked leisurely through town. "Town" is the capital city of St. George's. The city is beautiful in an Anne of Green Gables sort of way. Anne outwardly is pretty but her true charm is found in her wit and perspective. Driving towards town leads you along two lovely waterfronts: Port Louis and The Carenage. Upon arrival at the bus port, sounds and smells assault you from all sides. People rush up and down the streets while vendors line every unoccupied space on the sidewalk with watermelons, onions, papayas, and tomatoes. Further up the street both the fish and meat markets conduct business with harried old women and businessmen alike. Our visit began deeper in town with a stroll to the market. A street block in the centre of town is dedicated to the selling of produce and goods but Saturday is market day. A giant open building bursting with stalls of souvenirs of all types is Saturday's market day attraction. I had never been into town on the weekend so I was delighted right along with Justin. Believe me, delighted is the correct word to describe how much fun the market was to peruse. Unfortunately, I forgot to whip out my camera. (I'll be back to town in a few weeks so no worries) Vanilla, nutmeg, candles, necklaces, dolls, towels, baskets crammed on tiny display tables were loudly accompanied by the vendors vying for my attention and dollar. I'm sure my huge grin only encouraged them. We also walked through the neighbouring veggie market vowing to return at the end of the day.

Tummy rumblies sent us to our lunch destination, BB's Crabbacks (a Tripadvisor recommendation). Our date was quickly changed when we had no option of a lunch special. Neither of us was prepared to pay $140EC for lunch but we recovered our disappointment by evolving lunch into a dessert date. Fruit pancakes and sweet potato pudding tasted divine at our waterfront table. We later found a little Chinese joint and indulged in some chicken chow mein to soothe the remaining hunger.


Quick return to the market for tomatoes and onions then on to our final stop: Fish Market. Honestly, we just wanted to check the market out. You never know what they'll have. They had red snapper. My husband loves red snapper. Fish isn't as inexpensive in Grenada as you would expect from a Caribbean island but at $7.50EC per pound, he wasn't going to pass on the opportunity.

Freshly caught Red Snapper

Filleting the Fish

A loud and hot reggae bus returned us home with our treasures and adventures. Both of us were quite satisfied with the day and plan to repeat it after school lets out. I plan on repeating this trip on a regular basis. Veggies proved to be more abundant and delicious than supermarket wares...and the city comes with its own special life. Besides, it's good to get out and experience true living in Grenada.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Holidays and Sunsets

[Sorry about the delayed blog post. Endless rainy days have caused internet malfunctions. Hopefully peace and sunshine days will resume soon.]

Roasted Chicken being carved by V.

Sometimes you need some fun. Work repeatedly becomes overwhelming and monotonous. Holidays and evenings out, in my opinion, are extremely important to lift spirits and combat the dread of work. Thanksgiving came at a good time for my husband as he's pushing toward the end of his first term in medical school. Work is hard and tiring right now. SGU students didn't have the day free of classes but we made up for it with an evening Thanksgiving feast. Five people graced our house with presence and loads of food! Pies, bread, green beans, sweet potatoes, soup, mashed potatoes, all came. I contributed cranberry sauce, a roast chicken, turkey, and tons of gravy. Food unites people. Sitting around a full table with friends is where life's best moments often happen.  Holidays, especially, create that special "together" feeling. My American friends missed their families but eating a celebratory feast from home makes the geographical gap that much smaller. Hopefully it'll keep the homesickness at bay until our friends return home. Canadian me was just glad for the great food and happy laughter in my home.

Savvy's at Grand Anse Beach
Is it not true that you often need a holiday from your holiday? Potluck Thanksgiving removed almost all of the stress of holiday cooking but I still wanted a break from the kitchen. Solution? Cabana Friday at Savvy's! I can't think of anything better than chillin' on the beach, drink in hand, watching the sun go down. Grenada's sunsets are spectacular in orange, purple, red. The colours reflect off of the deep blue ocean making the landscape come alive with colour. One day I'll purchase a nice camera so I can show you the beauty of it all. Most of out evening was spent limin' with one of Justin's friends. Drinks were wonderful, food disappointing, company great. To top off an already lovely evening, Cabana night climaxed with bongo drums and a bonfire! S'mores on the house means I may have stuffed my face with two... or six. We laughed and danced around the hot fire to the beat of the drums (along with several drunk British tourists). On our way home, the three of us stopped at Grenada's Wall Street to devour spicy fries and loiter on the steps of a bagel shop. Husband and I arrived home happy and ready for bed. Our fun continued the next day...but I'll save that story for later. 

Sunset in paradise 
Roasting s'mores!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A feast awaits.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Again. If you read my previous post, you'd know that tomorrow will be my third Thanksgiving of the year. My attitude is less nervous the third time around because I will not be cooking alone. Three hungry American couples will fill my house with food, drinks, and laughter. Potluck style makes life easier and gives the opportunity for friends to try the unique holiday foods every family brings to the table. At my house, we partake of turkey and cranberry sauce like other people but my mom makes a wonderful addition to our meal: Giggle Juice!
Giggle Juice is the reigning beverage of holiday foods. All it is: a can or two of frozen peach or cranberry juice and ginger ale to taste. Simple but wonderful! If it's served from a punch bowl, it tastes 3x as good. This juice received its jovial name because mom says you can't help but giggle when you drink some. Of course us kids begin to giggle and so the name stuck. Sadly, I won't be making it this year for lack of frozen juice. Maybe Christmastime.

I'm sort of blackmailing myself with this post. Lately I've been a forgetful girl leaving my camera unused in my satchel. Tomorrow will not be one of those days! My camera will be busy flashing at friends and food alike. Can you believe the year is almost out? I need to capture the last bits of it.

The turkey and chicken is defrosting in the fridge, stuffing is ready to be made, and the gravy will flow.
To my American friends: Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Family Food.

Mixing in the vinegar
My mum, dad, and brother are coming to Grenada! I'm pretty excited for my family to be here during the holidays. Before I became sick last week, my mind visited my family in Canada and even my family further away in the Philippines. I am half-filipina and have loved the people, food, and culture since childhood. Especially the food. Filipino food wears the crown of all ethnic foods. Of course, I may be a little biased but never have I enjoyed eating more than when my mouth is full of bihon, adobo, lumpia, atchara, rice, and sinigang. (I'll upload recipes for all of those as I make them.) Grenada doesn't contain the most asian-friendly grocers but this tropical country carries huge varieties of tropical fruit. As I was browsing the vegetable market with friends, I noticed the piles of green papaya. I came home and told Justin of my tomato, guava, and papaya adventures. When I had finished, I suddenly blurted out "I can make atchara!" Two weeks later, I proudly walked in the door with a couple of large papayas ready for pickling. Atchara (also atsara) is a papaya "appetizer" made from sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and several veggies. It's amazingly simple to make but so yummy to eat. Each province and area in the Philippines has its own version of this dish so recipes vary on preparation and ingredients. My family is from the West Visayan region of the Philippines so I found an ilonggo recipe and gave it a try. My recipe is missing a few traditional veggies due to unavailability but still, the results were wonderful. Give it a try.

Sliced papaya with seeds inside
Atchara Recipe


  • 2 large green papaya
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 inch piece ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot stick
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp white sugar
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Storage container (I used clean pasta sauce jars)
Shredded papaya


  1.  Shred papaya, sprinkle lightly with salt, and squeeze excess water. Place in bowl and set aside.
  2. Place vinegar and both sugars in sauce pan. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Take off heat and set aside.
  3. Julienne red pepper and ginger. Slice garlic and carrot.
  4. Mix veggies with papaya. Pour vinegar/sugar mixture into bowl. Mix well
  5. Place mixture in storage container ensuring the majority of vegetables are submerged in brine.
  6. Refrigerate for at least a week before serving.

My asian-at-heart husband loves this. He loves it almost as much as he loves me. It's not totally authentic but Justin thinks it improves with age. We enjoy it with any fried or cooked meats with rice and a splash of soy sauce. One, almost two jars have disappeared. Perhaps another trip to the market is in order.

My recipe was adapted from here.

Finished Product. So good!
Full jars waiting to be eaten

Justin had some good food to survive my week-long lieu from the kitchen. He had some culinary adventures of his own..but you'll have to ask him about it. 

I'm still recovering from Dengue. All that remains is a bit of fatigue. Surprisingly, I still love Grenada. Not surprisingly, I hate mosquitoes more now than I ever have before. A war has been declared with mosquitoes being my sworn rival. I'm planning on winning. :)