Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

24 February 2007

Company Barbecue, Part I

We had a little company barbecue on last Saturday night. I'd been wanting to have some sort of company picnic or barbecue since before Christmas. But it was logistically too hard to put together. We have about forty workers. Half of them come from the Cay or its nearby neighbor town of Pelican; the other half come from a town on the other end of Guanaja called Savannah Bight. The job site is roughly equidistant from the two towns, but there is really nothing to do there (and I'm not crazy about having kids running around with all of the hazards a construction site contains). Getting everyone in the same place at the same time is tough enough on a normal work day.

The simplest solution was to have two parties! A little more expensive, but better for the guys and better overall.

The first one was planned for Saturday night on the Cay. A house was arranged. It seems that people are always willing to lend us their houses. Or should I say, the underneath of their houses. Most homes here are built up on stilts, leaving a big, open party area below. Conveniently, most houses even have a bathroom for this downstairs area.

I had some chorizo sausage flown up from La Ceiba. We grilled it up and served it with soft tortillas, chimol (pronounced "she-MOLE" and is what they call salsa here) and black beans. "Slap-yo-mama good" as they say in New Orleans! Which is an expression I've never quite understood. I mean, I lived/worked in south Louisiana for a long time, and I never actually heard anyone say in the first-person, after taking a bite of something, "Meh-yeah, cher! You know, this makes me want to slap my mama." But I digress. It was damn good chorizo.

Mmmm, chorizo!

Our worker Donovan Bodden brought his computer with its thousand-song music library and hooked it into a little stereo. Chorizo and beer and good friends and loud Soca music - that's about as good as it gets, man! (It is a simple life here, and for me that is one of the big attractions.) Lots of people pitched in and helped - like our tireless, always-smiling foreman Lalo Suazo and even former-employee and all-around great guy Negy Chiessa without both of whom there would not have been a party.

Not as many people showed up as I'd expected though, which is kind of puzzling. Free food? Free beer? My guys are usually not the type to turn such an opportunity down.

There weren't many girls that came. There never are, for some reason that eludes me. Banacca is a male-dominated place. I know for a fact that there are women on the Cay - I have personally seen them; they just don't show up for parties, evidently. At least, not the beer-drinkin', sausage-eatin', raucous parties that we end up having. Okay, there were some women who came, so it wasn't a total "sausage-fest." But really, not many came.

Negy did bring his beautiful wife Susane (just say "Suzy"). They'd been living together as a married couple for a long time. However, they finally made it official and had an actual ceremony on Valentine's Day. Heh-heh, smart guy, that Negy. You know that he will never forget his wedding anniversary...

Negy, Susane, and Kelcy

Kelcy is not as drunk as he looks in the picture. He'd been cooking the chorizos over the grill and smoke all night by this time. Well, okay, he is pretty drunk too.

There are always cute kids who want their picture taken.

A proverbial good time! One of our workers, Sargento, showed up and immediately started dancing. And boy, could he dance! People will surprise you sometimes, and Sargento surprised everyone. Funny thing about dancing: Guys don't like to do it. But if one starts, the others will join in. Suddenly there were a whole bunch of people dancing! Except for yours truly of course. First off, I have that old football/war injury to the knee (one or the other, I forget), but in addition I was drunk but not that drunk, thank you very much.

And speaking of drunks...

Kenny, Larry, Jose-Luis and Tingo (from left)

Kenny and Jose-Luis are our workers. Larry is a bartender up at Graham's Place, and Tingo works for Sosa Airlines. Good guys, good friends, and a good-looking bunch to boot, aren't they? Except for that chin-whisker thing that is so popular among single guys who mistakenly think it makes them look better. Still, you'd think women would be lining up for these guys. But nooooooo. (By the way, can you tell which one of the above guys is married?)

Ah yes, it's all fun and games until someone knocks over the grill. Thanks, Tingo! Have another beer!

The party broke up around midnight. Most of us meandered down to La Cueva, the local disco ("The Cave"). It was there that I found all of the women of Guanaja, hanging around and trying to get the drunk guys to buy them drinks. Silly girls - they just should have come to our party!

We still had another barbecue to give for the workers in Savannah Bight. The only things I was going to make sure of was that: 1) Donovan came with his music; and 2) Sargento came and got there early. Chorizo and beer are one thing (two things, actually) but it's the music and dancing that make it a party!


La Gringa said...

Looks like a good time. Where did you get the chorizo? Piara?

By the way, it's chismol. You just don't hear the 's' because of the accent. Don't feel bad. Most of the locals don't know how to spell it either. It's often spelled wrong on menus, too.

Bob Barbanes said...

Well...you know how it is...because nobody here knew how to spell their version of salsa, I googled it. Sure enough, it says "chimol" is "...is a traditional fresh sauce served in several Central American countries." I did google "chismol" and didn't get any relevant responses. Hey, chismol/chimol...tomato/toMAHto...
lemon/lime...what's the diff?

As for the chorizo, I'm not sure exactly where we get them from. Our engineer buys a *huge* bag for 1,000 lemps and sends them up via Sosa Airlines. They're awesome.

Hal Johnson said...

"I have that old football/war injury to the knee (one or the other, I forget)." Ha! I loved that one. It belongs in the "Real Man's Guide to Convincing Excuses" book.

Hal Johnson said...

An old southern country preacher from Georgia had a teenage son named David, and it was getting time the boy should give some thought to choosing a profession. Like many young men, the boy didn't really know what he wanted to do, and he didn't seem too concerned about it.

One day, while the boy was away at school, his father decided to try an experiment. He went into the boy's room and placed on his study table four objects:

- a Bible,

- a silver dollar,

- a bottle of whisky and

- a Playboy magazine

I'll just hide behind the door," the old preacher said to himself, "and when he comes home from school this afternoon, I'll see which object he picks up.

If it's the Bible, he's going to be a preacher like me, and what a blessing that would be! If he picks up the dollar, he's going to be a businessman, and that would be OK, But if picks up the bottle, he's going to be a no-good drunkard, and, Lord, what a shame that would be. And worst of all, if he picks up that magazine he's gonna be a skirt-chasin' bum."

The old man waited anxiously, and soon heard his son's footsteps as he entered the house whistling and headed for his room. The boy tossed his books on the bed, and as he turned to leave the room he spotted the objects on the table. With curiosity in his eye, he walked over to inspect them.

Finally, he picked up the Bible and placed it under his arm. He picked up the silver dollar and dropped it into his pocket. He uncorked the bottle and took a big drink while he admired this month's Centerfold.

"Lord have mercy," the old preacher disgustedly whispered, "he's gonna be a helicopter pilot!"

La Gringa said...

Nope, properly it's chismol. Guaranteed. But according to this, you can call it just about anything you want:

chismol: m. a vinegar-based sauce for grilled meats made of tomato, onion, green pepper, juice of the sour orange (naranja agria) and parsley or coriander. Variants chilmol, chimol, chimole, chirmol. [fr. Nahuatl chilmolli: chilli, chili pepper, and molli, seasoning or sauce]

A google search will give you several results for chismol, it's just that Honduran "cuisine" isn't that popular a topic.

Sorry for being a pest. I just thought you would want to know.

How can I get in touch with Sharon? Could you ask her to email me?

Thanks, Bob.

Bob Barbanes said...

I'll let you have the last word, Gringa. Which, since it's MY blog, is mighty generous of me, I think.

Sharon will email you.