Cooking 101 - Eric Martinez

Time flies when you are having a good time! I am so happy here. I can’t believe we have been here for a week now. I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go on this expedition.


I am so grateful and thankful for Jake. Jake is our expedition medic and he is just awesome, best roommate ever!! And that’s saying a lot since I’m married to last year’s expedition medic (love you, sweetie!) It's so nice having access to medicine at all hours of the night. Yesterday, I hit my toe while moving a table and part of my toenail came off and started to bleed and he just took care of it right away! Thanks Jake! Most of the mornings we are the first ones up. We go out to the balcony to watch the falcons fish in the river and hear the prayers of a family that lives next to our hotel. Today, when we came back from our school, I came into our room and after a while I noticed that it was not as cold as it usually is... Jake got a little heater for our room #blessed.


At dinner today I was feeling like I could give my taste buds a break from the flavorful Indian food but that was not really an option. Especially if you aren't prepared like some of the teen are. Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw the most wonderful thing in the world -- A cup of noodles. Francesca was the owner. I seriously wanted them so bad that I offered her  $40  dollars for it! and I meant it! I accepted the fact that no amount of money would be good enough  for such a hot commodity. Half way through dinner a lovely arm came out of nowhere and placed the cup of noodles in front of me! Best thanksgiving dinner ever!!! Francesca, you rock!!! 


It goes without saying how much I love the kids at our school. What's  not to love about them? They are just so excited to see us and so are we. They alway say "Good morning Eric sir!” I want to take them all back home!! Also, we fitted all of the kids shoe sizes so that we can have new shoes ready by Tuesday. We also painted a mural after school, and as one often does when you are in a stunning place overlooking the beautiful mountains and you have paint in your hands—you get carried away. You instantly become a canvas and attempting to stay untouched is impossible and all you can do is embrace the strokes of a paint brush on your back and a green handprint on your face!! Creating a masterpiece of core memories, as the sun sets, that will last for ever.



A quick update on the past few days. Our team has decided to help the school by providing the following supplies: sweaters, shoes, a big mat so that the kids don't have to sit on the cement floor during class, a chalkboard, socks, some light wall painting and a set of cutting knives for the cooks. The principal was so grateful for us and for the things we are donating to the school.


One of the days at the school, I had the pleasure of helping two of the most wonderful ladies prepare lunch for the kids. They were so impressed with my knife skills. I chopped  onions, prepared steamed rice, and made some kind of refried beans and let me tell you...Antony Bourdain's episode on the food in Amritsar has nothing on the week we have had in Chamba!


Today we had our cultural exchange. We were able to go to all the schools and it was great to see all of the other schools, the amazing people who run them and the kids who attend them. We performed our dances and songs in front of them and they were so into it. After the cultural exchange on Saturday we went to the market for a few hours (I just love the market!!) I️ am loving my time in Chamba!


Rachael,  I hope you had a great thanksgiving! Thanks for all the support! I love you so much! See you soon!