A wonderful thing happened the other day. A box of Girl Scout Cookies arrived from America. A box not just with a obligatory box of Peanut Butter Cookies and Thin Mints, but a box of every kind of cookie that the Girl Scouts sell. These marvelous
cookies were a gift from my lovely Aunt Pat from Wisconsin. I must publicly thank her for the cookies and also thank her on behalf of my host family and my co-workers who have tasted a little bit of America. The picture to the left is evidence of the cookies being eaten by someone else besides me. This is my host nephew Ion, who is 4 years old and enjoying every cookie he could get his hands on.
Today is the first spring like day we have had this year and the locals are taking advantage of it. This day marks the start of the potato season for the year and it all begins with planting potato spuds. Below is a picture of the spuds my host family and a small army of people are planting today. The process at my house is an all day event that includes starting work at 5:30 am and preparing food for the small army the day before. I asked my host mom over and over if I could help her cook or help out in the garden, which is more like a field. But she insisted that she needed no help with any of it, but requested that I take plenty of pictures to document the day. Which I was happy to do.
At this very moment the small army of helpers and my host family are eating a small feast and celebrating their day of hard work. It is amazing how neighbors and family come together to help each other, to ensure that one family can sustain itself with food for the upcoming year. The sense of community is very strong in this country.
About a month ago I had the honor of hosting three fellow volunteers at my house. It was a great weekend filled with lots of food, lots of wine and lots of laughs. It was my first opportunity to make meals for other than myself at my host family's house. I had the pleasure of making homemade White Bean & Ham Soup and Corn Bread for the gals. Together we had fun making California Rolls, tempura and sweet & sour sauce. It was almost like being back at my favorite sushi place in Chicago. I am beginning to see now that there is a pattern with my blog post today and the theme is food. To say that PCVs are obsessed with food is an understatement. We take every opportunity to make the things we miss from back home and maybe that is why we talk about it all the time. For me it is the enjoyment of cooking for others. Back in the states I cooked all the time, but for one person, which is kind of a drag. But here I have found a new found love for cooking for others. Mind you these are not lavish meals that include exotic ingredients but simple ones that focus more on making other happy. And on that note I bid you adieu and go make some wonderful curry that my parents sent me!
Take care everyone! JJ