lundi 25 juin 2007

Food for Thought

I thought I would give you all a small glimpse into Berkinabé life by relating the various foods, libations, and customs. Get ready.

Food. Pick a carb, any carb . . . rice, cous cous, yams (okay this isnt what you think of as a yam. Really it is just a big potato), an occasional potato, or millet (it has a fishy taste to it that i dont care for). Next you add a sauce. My personal faves are onion sauce -- so tasty -- ragout, tomato sauce, bean sauce -- also good -- or peanut sauce. On occasion you might find some "meat" in your food. I am never quite sure what animal it used to be and it is usually mostly tendon and bone. I dont know how this works out but there are always tiny fragments of bone in your food that you have to pick out with your fingers. The same goes with fish. Sometimes we volunteers splurge and get brochettes which are little meat kabobs -- these are oh so tasty and of a much higher quality. In general, a regular meal here costs a dollar.

Other faves include Banga which is just mashed up beans with a flavored oil drizzled on top. Sanwiches full of delicious avocados or eggs are another favorite of the volunteers. Berkinabé yougurt is so amazing -- its just plain yogurt but it tastes like dessert. Sometimes it comes with rice or millet in it and then it is called déguè. All liquids here are sold in little bags which are tied off at the top. You just rip a hole in the corner with your teeth and go to town. After you purell your hands of course. Beignets are another breakfast time favorite. They are a chewy salty dough that they fry. My friend Clay gets these for breakfast every morning. All I get is baguette.

Beverages. I already told you about Bissap. There is also Zoom Koom, Jus de Gingimbre, and Jus de Tamarin -- these are all natural laxatives if embibed in great quantities. Jus de Pain de Singe is made from baobob tree fruit. There are also several local beers that we volunteers enjoy -- Flag, Sobbra, and Barkina. Single beers here are twice the size of regular beers and they cost the equivalent of a dollar.

Okay . . . now some nuances of Berkina culture. You cant do anything with your left hand. Here, in place of toilet paper, the locals use a teapot of water and the splash action of their left hand. So, handling food, taking money and especially greeting people are all done with the right hand. There are some people here who are left handed and its been pretty funny for them. Also, you dont wear your regular shoes around the courtyard and house so my host mom bought me a pair of flip flops for our area -- she is really sweet. The local language here in Oahigouya is Mooré adn when you greet someone in Mooré you go through a long discourse on the other persons family, job, health etc. This is not just with close friends but with anyone you stop to greet. Okay, I am out of time. I hope yu have appreciated this update. Next time I will tell you all about my host family.

3 commentaires:

Katie a dit…

So I just found the interactive blog function of your Web site...woo woo! Your life/diet sounds so interesting. I love you and miss you so much. And I didn't know the whole left-hand thing was for real. Good to know! I love you Schmoo!

Nana a dit…

I like the way the beer sounds! Love from, Nana

Ryan a dit…

beer is sign that god loves us. ben franklin or someone historical that michael scott would instantly confuse as a ex-president said that. i think it's true. i've enjoyed your blog. change the world. miss you much.