Sunday, October 3, 2010

No Blood, But Plenty of Sweat & Tears

Saturday, 11 September 2010


I never recalled seeing the moon rise and fall within such a short period of time. I saw it early evening - shining proud, high above the world below and next to the northern star. But after a short while, I looked up expectantly and was immediately taken-aback for I did not see the slither of the moon, but an empty space where it should have been. Instead of soaring with great glee and confidence, I searched and I found it: hiding behind the tall Mango-less trees, bashful and ashamed for the color it bared was a glowing rouge. Why is she so embarrassed now? Maybe her companions, the stars, were suddenly struck with ferocious confidence and overruled the night's ruler. Impeached for the time-being. She only peaks her head over the this leaves of the fruitless tree and tries to watch over her night.

I finished a 649 page book in 5 days. Pretty good if you ask me. The Poisonwood Bible: I like it and will have to own it once I get back to the States - or I'll buy a new one and give it to who lent me this one. It got a wee bit torn up due to the rain and a 27KM bike ride combined. But continuing my praise of the novel: it is beautifully written - eerily familiar and holds wonderful perspective on both religion and integration. I don't see it as bashing mission trips, but rather, putting into perspective how a culture is changed and how it can change whoever steps in without open eyes. It will probably be read a few more times while I'm here in West Africa.

Speaking of integration, after pulling my nose out of that novel I stepped out of my house and saw a huge gathering at my neighbors courtyard. I walked over and was immediately put to work! With women gathered around kettles of hot palm oil and gallons of moist, ready-to-cook dough...I was put in charge of making gateaux -->Yummy fried pieces of bread sold on marché day. Well - at least one of the large kettles was under my supervision. I sat on a miniature wooden bench (perfect for a three year old, but commonly use by all ages here: regardless of age, height or weight) in front of me was the large "kettle-wok" full of lava hot palm oil sat upon a large, cylindrical metal contraption with a blazing fire that was carnivorously consuming the freshly chopped wood from this afternoon. Beside me was a large woman with few words and a head wrapped of shiny, bright orange scarf, fixed with a bow right on top. She too was supervising a vat full of gooey dough. Together we sweat over the open flames. My eyes were burning from all the smoke rising and finding it's way into my tear ducts. But though blood was the only element missing - we successfully prepared enough gateaux to feed the village. I was rewarded with a good heaping of sugar and six large pieces of the fried dough. I was shocked and then my neighbors simply laughed when I told them "pas possible pour moi finir ça." I don't think that's correct Français - but that's what came out of my mouth and went into their ears and from their bellies came laughter. I took my prize and started to prepare my own dinner: soup des legumes. 3 onions, 2 poivrons, 1/2 aubergine, 1/2 head of cabbage, 3 tomates, 1/4 bundle of green onions, 2 cloves of garlic. YUM! I gave half of what I made to my neighbors due to the fact that I was unable to finish what I prepared for myself and because they are REALLY kind to me. But mostly because I can't fathom how to fix a meal just for me. I can't seem to understand that concept. It is an impossible feat and I shall overcome this by the time my service is up in 2012. That's plenty of time, eh?

Bon nuit. C'est le bonne temp me repose pour le soir. Avec le musique de le musilum prayer* et le discutations de mes voisens - c'est bon nuit. À demain.

No comments:

Post a Comment