Our friends have come to the end of their second week of vacation in Chile, taking their 3 little kids and staying with missionary friends and experiencing life with the Chileans. I asked Steph if I could highlight some of their adventures, especially when it comes to food.

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Enjoying ONCE: One of my favorite things is that the Chileans eat their larger meal in the afternoon, around 1 or 2 pm. They then have siesta (rest time), and everything opens back up for business around 3 or 4. In the evening, they have what they call ONCE, a light meal of tomatoes, avacados, bread, eggs, carrots. Often times people get together for ONCE, and it just seems so simple, so easy. I am totally doing it when we get back to the States. What is absolutely proven to me is that you do not need to make an elaborate meal–just put out some food items on the table and enjoy the people you are with.

Farmer’s MARKET (Feria): We’ve made it every Tuesday and Friday to the farmer’s market (or Feria). We walk there with empty bags and hoof it home with full bags. It is amazing to have all the fruits and vegetables that you are used to seeing in the summer. The strawberries are just coming to an end, but so good. The first time we went, we took the kids and ate our way through the market. At the end, the kids were covered in strawberries. It’s so fun to interact with the local farmers. One very key ingredient to their cooking is squash; they grow the biggest squash! You decide how big of a hunk of squash you want, and then they get out their knife and start sawing off a piece. It is delicioso.

A new TABLE: The kitchen at the house where we are staying is tiny, with no counter space. My husband and friends spent one day to build a bench. The hardest part was finding a store that would sell them the wood they needed, and stay open long enough to make the boards. They were at one store, ready to buy the wood, but then it closed for siesta. So they had to come back the next day. It is crazy to have the money ready to buy, and then, “Oh you’ll have to come back”. A little taste of Chilean life.

Cerdo Boca: One night at dinner (or Once) our son was telling a story and talking with his mouth full. I told him in Spanish to close his mouth. I said, “Cerdo Boca.” One of our new friends laughed because what I just said was “Pig Mouth.” What I should have said was “Cerrado Boca.” Oh so close! Our oldest daughter brings this up almost every day, she thinks it is so funny.

Our friends dreamed and saved for years to take their family to another country, for their family to experience a different way of living.

For some, even a “better” way of living.

All three of our children have been to Mexico on mission trips to build houses, but not our family of 5 experiencing it together. One day

Have you ever taken your family to experience life in another country? And how does a lighter meal around 3-4 sound to you?