Monday, May 05, 2008

Ever wonder what they make mud huts out of?

At first guess, I would imagine 'mud' would make it into your answer. And that would be correct. The bricks are dug out of the ground, but once they are stacked into a hut, there are some finishing touches that must be made. That requires more than just mud.... Enter manure.

After making a suitable mixture of mud and manure (mixed by hand of course. literally), they take a handful of it and smear it across the mud bricks like a stucco. Last step? Wash thouroughly with good soap. You're gonna use that hand to eat later and unfortunatlely that smell will not have worn off yet. Also watch out entering the hut before the coating is sufficiently dried. But don't even kid yourself that your hut won't STINK for the next two or three nights. Sleep through it, that's all there is to do.

More delectableness from the kitchen hut

high quality white rice with 'green slime' sauce (shredded leaves of some unidentified green plant boiled with a touch of peanut butter and local seasonings). Once you get past the texture... actually not bad.
lesser quality (and therefore, more frequent) white rice with an oil and onion-based sauce poured over it. The funky green things are boiled mud-fish, our nearly-sole source of protein on a typical day. Top it off with a hot red pepper. Yum.
This--- is what the men do. They play with the tea. This is green tea, served very strong, and in varying degrees of very sweet. Three rounds. Everybody gets a shot. Greater height, more foam. More foam, more glory. Add in some mint leaves or lemongrass and it can be quite tasty.

Fine cuisine, my friends...

So here we have field corn charbroiled for a snack.
Me sipping at our breakfast porridge, 'purposeful lumps' as it has been so lovingly termed. It's basically flour balls cooked into soupy, mostly tasteless liquid. Sugar makes it so much better...
A version of couscous with an onion sauce poured on it that is quite delicious out here, as you can see, our sister scarfing it down for the camara.
The lady is grinding roasted peanuts into peanut butter. They add it to sauces for flavor. We are strange when we put it on bread...
And then a great shot of me (thanks Reaiah) shoveling in the rice and sauce a la Maninka style--just stick the whole hand in there. Keeps you from losing too much of it on the ground.

Let's try this again...

As my brother has pointed out, it's been a while since I put new pictures up there for those of you who check this way more often than I do. Thanks for continuing to check it. I'll try to do better and get some good pictures on here for you. Most of these are going to be ones that, if you have seen me in the last few weeks, then you've probably seen these too. Enjoy. (By the way, some of these are a little old...)

Some of our friends came over to celebrate Christmas with us. We had a great time. Spent some time with their wives and children (trying to help them cook the massive meal of rice and goat meat-- I know we bought goats!!! It was exciting). The men are helping each other prepare to tell the story of Jesus' Birth. It was a great Christmas for us.