In an effort to stop editing my Peace Corps experience for this blog, I’m going to attempt to include more of the good, bad, pretty and the not so pretty; therefore, enjoy the next couple of true life stories.
Disclaimer: If you have a queasy stomach, skip this entry.
Each evening I sit and visit with my neighbors (the 15+ people who live next door that I’m not entirely sure how they are all related) while they prepare dinner for us to eat. When I say “visit” I mean mostly me listening and watching while attempting to understand the conversation. Most days there’s something amusing to observe between all of the many children and livestock. Late one afternoon this week I took my usual stroll next door and went to see what one of the girls was preparing in the large pot of boiling water. I leaned over the pot to see her pulling the skin off of chicken feet and cleaning it’s freshly severed head. I then watched her chop off each of its toenails (manicures do exist here!), cut open the stomach and dump out its contents, which the dog gladly consumed, and then begin to butcher the remaining pieces further. Her little brother (or who I assume is her little brother) would hold one end of a chunk of meat while she held the other end and sliced down the middle. The funniest part of this whole scene was watching the brother twirl the intestines around a stick and then later proceed to feed the detached beak to the dog. To paint the picture a little better for those back in the states – these really are still children – probably around the ages of 8 and 12. It’s interesting to watch all of the ways in which children participate so avidly in household activities compared to the U.S. One would never hand a machete to a child back home but here it’s common place.
While I know this entry might gross many people out and make others think I’m a bit twisted for enjoying watching this event, it’s probably just a sign that I’m beginning to adjust more to life in Mada!
Sorry I don’t have pictures to include with this entry, but it's probably best I spare you of those.