This is a guide for my family and friends about my life as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cape Verde, Africa. I teach English as foreign language to high school students in Boa Vista, Cape Verde. Also as a disclaimer, the comments expressed here are solely of the author and do not represent the United States Peace Corps, the American Government, or any other governing body.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Another week has gone by, and we are but four weeks away from the end of the trimester. Four weeks away from the end of the first third of the school year. I cannot believe how time has passed.

I particulary feared for yesterday to come, as it was Thanksgiving and the first time in my entire life I was not going to be spending it at home with my family. I have been without a phone for the past three weeks, and therefore have not been able to speak to them either which has caused me more pain than I initially realized. But between Leland and I we managed to have a very good day yesterday, considering the circumstances. Leland was able to solve my phone situation, bless him, and I was able to talk to my family through the internet of all things with a headpiece at a very reasonable price. This was such a blessing to me. It was so good to hear my family's voices and on a day that had meant so much to me as a symbol of familial unity.

Well Leland and I bought our halves of a chicken each, marinated them the way we each wanted and baked them. Let me just take a moment to tell you about our stove/oven. It is gas, which on the stove is no real problem for me; I am used to this, although the lowest setting on the dial is not acutally low, but a high-medium temperature which makes simmering stuff very difficult. But a gas oven with the flame actually inside is something very new to me. It makes cooking slightly difficult because so much heat comes from the bottom of the oven where the flames are and might I say, slightly exposed in some areas as is normal I guess. Also, the lowest setting on the oven is 180 degrees Centigrade, which is just under, I beileve, 375 F. Which is rediculous in itself. So the fitted pan I used in my attempt to make roast potatoes which weren't all that bad, but they were far from the quality of my mother's and therefore MILES from the quality of my grandmother's. But hey, I tried. So after I finished the roast potatoes, I decided to place the chicken on a piece of foil and then on the fitted rack. I figured that becuase the bottom of pans get so hot, I didn't want the bottom of the chicken to stick to the pan it was on, so the logical choice was tin foil. Hind sight, as they say, is 20/20. My intentions were good, but had I been thinking all the way through the business, I would have cleaned the fitted pan that the roast potatoes had been in, and placed that under the tin foil contraption. But I didn't. When Leland came back from teaching his class the chicken had just been placed in the oven and everything was going fine until we heard the little drips of chicken fat sliding off the tin foil and sizzling on the bottom of the oven. It wasn't long until so much fat had dripped off that it was now on the verge of lighting on fire from the flames below. And then it did light on fire, and there was a very pretty image through the little window of our oven. But that's where the fun stopped as we didn't really want to get blown up, nor burn down our entire apartment building as that would have been MOST inconvenient! But the chicken was done anyway, so the oven (after the fire display) was immediately turned off and we enjoyed our large pices of chicken with mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, corn and gravy. Leland and I treated ourselves to some fruit at the market so we had grapes and watermelon for dessert, along with the chocolate chip cookies I was able to make thanks to my dear mother :)

Speaking of chocolate chip cookies, no one really has those here and the package of mix I had made 2 dozen which Leland and I don't at all need to eat so I decided to take a dozen to my 11th grade class yesterday. I have only twelve students so it was perfect. The grammar lesson was the passive voice and as that is used in writing recipes, I looked up the actual recipe for chocolate chip cookies online (as the mix I had been sent would not suffice as an ingredient they could actually get here) and I served the cookies while teaching them the recipe at the same time. They loved the cookies and seemed stunned when I told them I baked them myself. Of course I didn't tell them that I had a lot of help from Betty Crocker and that the recipe I was giving them and they were eagerly writing down wasn't exactly the cookies I had served them. But it's all good, and I was happy that they enjoyed them just the same.

Anyway, that was my exciting day yesterday that was more pleasant than I had originally feared, which made it all the more enjoyable. The only sadness brought to the day was the passing of a very dear, but very sick aunt. I am sorry for mine and my family's loss and that it was experienced on a day of such usual joy and familial happiness. She will be missed, and it is now best to look back on the days we spent with her, especially the entire of last summer that she spent with my family in Phoenix. She was there when I left to come here and we enjoyed her company greatly. But she is now at peace.

Bom fin de semana nha gente :)


Blogger Valerie Fazel said...

Chocolate chip cookies as a learning tool, who would have thought! Good for you Nadia!

26 November, 2006 19:04


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