Welcome to Michael and Lara's Ministry Updates from Guyana! (AKA "Mike and Lara" AKA Myk-en-Lara" :-) We Love to keep in touch with all our family and friends, but its difficult when we are so far away, and our internet here is not so reliable. So we will post our experiences and pictures on this site for everyone!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Food of Guyana

Hey Peoples! We thought you might like some info on what kind of foods we’re eating around here. Suffice it to say just about everything is different, but if you try really hard you can get some things from home.

Our favorite new food of course is the fruit here. Some of them you can get in the states, like Mango, Papaya and Guava, but they are so much better fresh. Especially when they are right off the tree! One of our favorites still is something called Sour Sop, which tastes a lot like it sounds. Its like eating very soft pineapple, but a little more sour. We eat Pineapple or Papaya just about every day since its so cheap here. There are some oranges here but they are green and a little piffy. Right now we are in the Mango season, so just about every day our studies send us home with a bag of them. Its getting hard to keep eating them before they go bad! There are four types here, Ruby, Pepper spice, Long mango, and a Yellow type. Each has a distinct flavor, and some we have even used to make Mango Pie! Delicious!

- A Mellon, Cherries and Plantains. Notice the Bananas are much shorter here and sweeter. They also have some that are ripe when green. It gets really confusing! -

- Sour Sop -

- Here's the Fruit from a Cashew Nut -

- Something called Bread Fruit. I've heard it doesnt have must of a taste -

- Sugar Cane. Here's what Rum comes from! This is a huge exportation item. Its fun to just cut it up and chew on the inside -

- This is a family thats cutting up a whole bunch of Coconuts. Many sell it for making coconut oil, or just to eat -

- Searching for Mangos! -

Probably the most popular food here is curry dishes. They use curry to make just about everything, from Beef to Chicken to Fish dishes. There’s a strong Chinese food influence as well so many eat Chow Mien with their curry dishes. So far we do enjoy the food, but it is a little hard on our stomachs if we eat it too often. A strange twist is that here everyone loves to put a lot of bones in their food. For example the curry chicken will often have pieces of chicken with mostly bone and gristle. But they love to suck and chew on the bones to get every last bit of meat. There is a large fishing industry here, so fish is a strong staple, as well as rice of course.

- Yes thats a fish skeleton with the head on it! Lara says it was pretty good actually. -

- The white rice above is processed and bleached. The brown rice is unshelled rice. I've never seen it raw before! -

- This is a common method for drying the rice here in Guyana. In the busy season you can drive for half amile on a road with rice all on one side. -

- This is a common stove the guyanese use for most of thier meals. Notice the sofisticated heating method! -

Drinks are another story. We were surprised to learn what a strong addiction everyone has to soda here! Everyone is constantly drinking it, and of course they always offer it to us too in service. But its better than drinking their water since we never know what kind of water they have. They have just about every flavor of soda, including some I’ve never seen, like ICEE Flavor soda. Yes it’s the same brand as the slushies from the states, but just the liquid! And of course Rum could be called a staple too since its so popular. El Dorado is the most common brand, but so far we haven’t cared much for it.

So its been a real change but we have been able to find ingredients to make some of our familiar dishes, like spaghetti, stir fry dishes, pizza, pasta salad, beef stew and chili. Everything has to be made by scratch though, and if you want ground meat you have to grind it yourself too, lol. Thankfully Michelle is a real food connoisseur so we’ve gotten a lot of help and ideas from her.

- They have Breyers Ice cream in the capital but notice the price? over $4000! Thats about $20 in US money for a Pint! -

So that’s some news on our grub here in Guyana, Service is still going well. Tom and I are preparing for our trip into the interior pretty soon. We will be leaving for three weeks starting September 29th. We really have no idea what we will find out there but there’s not questions that the territory has a huge need as it is virtually untouched. We will be going down in a small Toyota, fully loaded with about 20 or so boxes of literature, plus food and supplies and six brothers on top of everything! We will do our best to get photos and video of it all. the next Post on our blog will be about the “Trip to Region 8 of Guyana” so stay Tuned!


  1. Wow all those fruits look really good and yummy. I would love to taste the sour sop. I cant believe they would dry the rice just out in the open like that. you must have to wash it really good before you eat it. Have a great trip, and may Jehovahs rich blessings be with you and Tom.Much love!

  2. You brothers have a great trip! Come back safe and sound. We can't wait to hear the report when you return to civilization. Love, Jeff & Lisa

  3. Wow! All that fruit! Bet y'all are super regular! (tee hee) I can't believe the $20 for icecream...sheesh! You'd have to REALLY want some! I showed the picture to coworkers. They were all impressed too. The bones in the food is nasty. I prefer to remain spoiled up here. My dishes are generally bone free. Although last night there was caviar on my sushi and I didn't like that one bit. Salmon sashimi good, caviar bad. I can't believe you ate the skeleton fish with the head on Lara! Ew! You're changing...that's for sure!

  4. Oh, how I loved to hear about the food you are eating there. How wonderful to have such a nice variety of fresh fruits. Evidently they don't want people to eat ice cream there, otherwise, it wouldn't be so expensive.

    We really are looking forward to your next post telling us about your experiences on your travels.

    Missing you both more than you can ever know. Sending much love and many hugs,

  5. Wow, I love fruit! I should be there with you. I imagine eating is a real adventure as well as a delight. Write down those recipes and we can try them in the New World when we spend time in the tropics. Thanks for the pictures, it gives me something to look forward to.

    Can't wait to hear about your trip to the interior or is it the jungle/rainforest? Anyway, Be safe and Jehovah continue to be with you.
    Love, Gwen

  6. Oh I want a mango now! A lot of those pictures remind me of Mexico. They drink a ton of soda down there too. That ICEE stuff sounds like liquid cavities--loaded with sugar and therefore probably delicious. :oP

    I am glad to hear that you two are doing well. Can't wait for the next batch of stories and pictures!

  7. Finally got to read your blog. Really nice, the pictures with text. We can get an excellent idea of the food there. You know mangoes, papaya, etc here is quite expensive, whereas oranges are cheap in season. How well Jehovah provides fresh things for us no matter where we live, and there are no microscopic monsters inside! We are really happy you guys are all doing well with your ministry. Your area is so much cleaner and up to date from the pictures we get from bros. in Africa! We can only imagine what it would be like to talk to people who have never heard of Jehovah's Witnesses, what an experience! We wait to hear about Mike and Tom's trip. Sure hope you have lots of pictures. Miss you so much and selfishly wish you were here building us up! Love, Mom and Dad

  8. so delicious! i would so want some mangos right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WANT MANGOS!!!

  9. I love sour sop. Do you have cocoa pods there? Like what chocolate comes from? If you do you HAVE to try the white stuff on the inside. If you cut open a cocoa pod there will be this white stuff around the beans (don't eat the raw beans they are bitter and awful......it takes alot of processing to make it into chocolate) but the white stuff you suck off the beans is the sweetest, most delicious and wonderful thing I've ever eaten!