Grass house adventures cont’d…

Breakfast after that sleepless night was eggs cooked with onions and lots of oil…delicious! I even got a much needed cup of coffee with sugar as opposed to salt which is what they typically put in their coffee. Negia prepares our food out at the goat site, so she knows what kind of food we do and don’t like, which was a huge benefit for me! I spent the morning learning how to cook bread over the fire using false banana tree leaves to wrap the dough in to prevent it from burning, perfecting my coffee roasting and grinding skills, washing dishes – and by washing I mean pouring cold water on them, using my hand to wipe them, and then placing them back on the dirt floor that the livestock walk across – and grinding spices using two stones. I also attempted to help haul water in a 20 liter plastic jug that they wrap a scarf around to carry on their back. Before I stayed there, I just thought I had seen some countryside living. I really felt like I had a good grasp on what the daily countryside life looks like. Oh, how I fooled myself.

The afternoon was spent visiting friends and one of the sick ladies from the day before. It is cultural here to visit someone when they are sick. The line of thought is that the only thing worse than being sick is being sick by yourself. Therefore, I never tell them when I am sick because I think the only thing worse than being sick is being sick and having to entertain and make small talk with people that come to visit you! But perhaps that is just me?

One of Negia’s friends came over that night and we were all laying on the floor resting and enjoying the evening and for a brief moment it struck me how natural and comfortable we were laying there. One of the few moments from the day that I can even begin to describe as comfortable. That moment didn’t last long. I was so full from eating something at every house we visited – it is basically required that you are served something to eat or drink when you visit a house and they always insist that you eat far more of it than you ever wanted to. It was around 8:30 and I was really looking forward to passing the night quietly and maybe just eating some of the bread we had made earlier that day for dinner. Nothing clicked when I saw Negia’s mom and dad bring out the axe and machete and start sharpening them. Nothing clicked when I realized that there were now two sheep in the house instead of the one that was there the night before. It wasn’t until the sheep was caught and led to Negia’s father who was holding the knife that I quickly realized that this sheep was about to be slaughtered right in front of me… in the house. I realized this fact about 30 seconds before the slaughtering began and judging by their reactions Negia and her friend were not made anymore aware of it than I was. I was debating whether or not I should look away and cover my ears or try to be brave and watch when both of the other girls covered their face with their scarves and tucked their heads under their hands to drown out the noise. At that moment, I wasn’t feeling so bad about being a little nervous about the painfully close sheep slaughtering process. Muslims cut the throat of the animal and say something about it being in the name of Allah and then the animal bleeds out while the heart is still pumping. I have been told that the noise the animal makes during the process is the worst part of it. I had told myself that I wanted to watch the slaughtering process just one time beginning to end and I couldn’t think of when I would have a better chance than now. Thankfully, the sheep didn’t make any noise and it wasn’t too painful to watch. Two hours later at 10:30, after all the kids had already fallen asleep on the floor and long after I had any interest in eating a freshly killed sheep, but would rather have just gone to bed, we sat down and ate. The food was good and as the guest I was encouraged to eat more and more and more. I thought this weekend might be a chance to cut down on my food consumption – instead I consumed more extremely sweet tea, extremely sweet coffee, cokes, and eggs, cheese, and meat all cooked in oil than any person should consume in a month.

After dinner, I stuck some tissue in my ears and my jacket under my back and climbed in the bed for the night. Thankfully, I passed out almost immediately and my sleep was only slightly disrupted from the crowing rooster this night. It was leftover sheep meat freshly cut and cooked for breakfast the next morning and then I helped Negia make injera on the fire. So much harder than she made it look. The batter is very liquidy and you pour it onto a metal griddle in a spiral like fashion until you have a circle of batter about the size of a large pizza. Let’s all hope I don’t have to make my living from cooking injera anytime soon!

So, the trip was good. Glad I did it. Glad I didn’t know how uncomfortable I would truly be when I began it. Glad to be clean and back in my own house and own bed. #gallery-623-5 { margin: auto; } #gallery-623-5 .gallery-item { float: left; margin-top: 10px; text-align: center; width: 100%; } #gallery-623-5 img { border: 2px solid #cfcfcf; } #gallery-623-5 .gallery-caption { margin-left: 0; } /* see gallery_shortcode() in wp-includes/media.php */

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