Turkeyday Now Duckday

Who says you can’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Africa? After a much anticipated wait, I again what know it feels like to be in a food-coma. Last weekend, several other volunteers and I made a short journey (for some it was a rather long trek) to Savé to celebrate Thanksgiving at Linsey’s house. About ten of us volunteers made it and everyone who came brought something to the table (both hypothetically and materially). There are turkeys in Benin but they cost anywhere from 25.000F-40.000F ($50-$80) and that roughly half of a volunteer’s monthly budget. Instead, we opted out and purchased 3 ducks. There was a smaller duck that cost 2.500 F and the other two were 5.000F a piece. So, we definitely got a bang out of our buck, three for less than what one turkey would cost. After a few volunteers learned how to properly dehead, pluck, and then gut them it was time to prepare them. We don’t have ovens here in Benin so we first boiled them in water and then grilled them after to get a crunchy skin texture. André and I were in charge of the ducks while others slaved away in the kitchen making mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn casserole, green bean casserole, baked beans, biscuits, and gravy. I also made some pretty awesome deviled eggs for an appetizer.
The meal turned out to be far more authentic then I ever would have imagined. Besides being short on plates thus leaving me to eating out of a frying pan which I definitely didn’t mind (more food!). Only problem with this was that I think my stomach may have shrunk a little bit, because I was certainly forcing food down the last couple of bites. Of course there were leftovers and we finished the duck in the morning with duck fat, gravy, and sweet potato hash browns. After losing 15 lbs already in Benin I think I at least gained 5 back after this past weekend. However that is not to say I will be losing them again after returning to my bean and rice diet in village. It was a successful weekend, and it was definitely a reminder to be thankful of what we have even in Africa.
December looks as if to be a crazy month. We have IST (in-service training) in Parakou from December 9-15. We will be learning how to get grants as well as more technical training related to our jobs here. It should be a good time seeing all the other volunteers again and the Peace Corps is also putting us at a hotel that has a pool, so I am also looking forward to lather on the sunscreen and soak up some friendly African rays. The following week of IST is Christmas and there are some volunteers who are heading to Grand-Popo (a beach resort town in Benin) to spend the holiday there. I am doing my best to set aside money to be able to afford the things to come in December, but it can get a little tricky at times. Anyways I wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season back in the States and hope you all feasted as well is I was able to

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About le exploreteur

Since a very young age I have always been fascinated by the uniqueness of different cultures in our world. Life is too short to live within your own bubble. I believe that it is in human nature to explore and learn about the unknown.
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One Response to Turkeyday Now Duckday

  1. Adam Keane says:

    Miss you bud! Be glad you missed the 70 points Wisconsin hung on us… Looking forward to reading more and talking again again soon. Merry Christmas!

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