Monday, November 13, 2006

Yes, another chicken story!

So much has happened since I last wrote my blog that I don't even know which story to share with you. So, this entry may be a little jumpy, and I apologize for that. Time is slowly ticking away to the day when the Peace Corps vehicle drops me off in my village and leaves me to fend for myself. Hah, so it isn't that bad...I will know one person there, but I get more nervous as the day approaches. I am happy for the coming independence, yet frightened of being alone. Oh well, it is inevitable, so I must close my eyes and embrace the unknown...something that I have been doing a lot here.

So, since everyone seemed to enjoy the "chicken incident" story, I figure I will start with two funny animal stories...well I don't know if funny is the correct word or gross, but that seems to blend quite a bit here.

First, everyday we generally have language class, and we have class at some establishment in the community. On this day we decided to go to this restaurant. So, we are sitting at this kitchen table under a hangar. Just as a sidenote, while sitting there we get approached at least 20 times by various people selling their 'wares or asking for money--which as unfortunate as it truly is, it grates on you after a while...maybe it is my NYC mentality coming out--ANYWAY! So, as we are playing French Scrabble for the 3rd time that day we hear a commotion coming from across the yard. Looking up, we see this man tying up this poor squealing pig. He is hog-tying it and the thing is just screaming bloody murder...I am sure that little piggy is going to market..hahaha, funny joke...come on, laugh! Anyway, so he finally gets it tied and it is squirming and squealing the entire time. He attempts first to attach it to his handlebars, but he crashes about 5 times. This little pig is fighting for its life. So--for those of you animal lovers/squeamish people out there, stop reading here--he proceeds to start kicking this daylights out of this pig as punishment for the bike accidents he was having. He picks it up and tries to ride away again and falls over once this point everyone in my language class is just falling over laughing. The guy gives up with the handlebars and straps the pig to the back of his bike and rides off--I am not even sure why he didn't do that in the first place. I am assuming he was successful since we heard no squealing after that...but it makes me glad that I don't eat pork!

Okay, now onto my other animal story, and I know you will like this since it has to do with a chicken!! Yeah! So, once again I ws commisioned to cook a dinner for my family, although this time with a lot more notice. So, I decided that I wanted to learn how to cook a least now I will be supervised, so I thought it was a good time. Now, back home I would just pop into the supermarket and buy myself some tasty Perdu Boneless Chicken Breasts...but here it is quite a different story. Off I go to the marché with my cousin and my brother to "choisir" (to that French usage?) my chicken. We walk up to this guy and he has all these wooden cages around him full of different chickens. I tell him that I want a chicken, but that I didn't know how to choose. Well, he reaches in his little cage and pulls out this enormous "cock"...NO I am not being sexual or dirty-minded...a make chicken is called a cock (South Carolina Gamecocks ring a bell?). I had thought it would have been easy to choose a chicken for dinner, but then I looked it in the eye and suddenly got very sad. We continued to barter and settled on a price...all the while I am looking at this poor chicken, and I know it knows it's fate. I even got so sad that I pet the chicken...that's right I did. Luckily, a fellow Peace Corps Volunteer, Minh, was with me and convinced me to stop and look away. Then the word came in..."tuer," which means to kill. Luckily, in Burkina, women are not culturally allowed to kill animals, the rationale is that we bring life into the world...we aren't allowed to take it away. So, for an extra 50 CFA he offers to kill it and clean it for me. My brother offered to stay with the chicken when it was being killed and take it home. I told them, "J'aime le poulet, mais je ne veux pas voir cuand il tue le poulet, et je ne veux pas aporter le poulet avec moi." (basically, I love chicken, but I don't want to watch it get killed or carry it afterwards). So, we finished up our shopping and went home. Now, as soon as I have my pictures sent home to be put on the internet you will understand--because this definitely warranted a picture--but my brother pulls the cleaned chicken out of the bag. I about fell over!!! WARNING!: If you are squeamish don't read beyond this point. They had cut the foot off and put it in the chicken's throat. So it was a whole chicken with a foot sticking out of its throat!!! It's beady little eyes were staring back at me, and finally I just asked him to cut it up and put it in a pot, because I couldn't bear it. About an hour later I go to prepare the chicken for dinner and what do I find in the pot as I am seasoning it...yep, the entire head of the chicken...eyes and all. They offered to take it out, but I figured that if someone eats it, then I should cook it...NOTHING goes to waste in Africa. So, throughout the preparation this little chicken head was staring at me...I felt so guilty. That is until I ate hime, and I have to pat myself on the back with this one...but it was darn good. All you need is some tomatoes, onions, garlic, oil, and lovely season salt frol home and you have a darn good chicken. Let me just tell you that after this experience I will NEVER look at chicken in the grocery store the same way again. But, this is Africa and I felt like I needed to embrace it! I would rather know where my meat is coming from here and know it is prepared correctly. Who would have thought that I would one day be here and be doing this! I al realizing that I am capable of doing so much more than I ever thought, and this chicken is just the tip of the iceberg.

Anyway, I had so many more stories I would like to share, but I am running out of time at the internet cafe, so I must leave you with only these. Next time I will share about the enormoius soccer match that we played against a neighboring village. About 700 people showed up to was amazing. Complete with goats in the field and a gigantic tree growing at midfield! A truly African experience.

Hope all is well, and stay in touch. Feel free to leave comments questions in the comments section and I will try and answer it!Mo


Sara said...

Bonjour ma soeur!! Your blog cracks me up!! I do plan on writing you a letter a francais, Thanksgiving break starts on Friday so I'll be home for a week and I'll have time to write you and I'm sure mom and I will call you!! Love you and miss you! xoxo

Anonymous said...

I love reading your blog, it is extremely entertaining!!! I will write you a letter soon and send some goodies your way. Keep up the strange, hilarious stories-makes me wish I was there just for the entertainment:) love you-Morgan