Beautiful Things

Thursday, July 7, 2011

4th of July!

What could be more American that a good bowl of chili?

… okay, everyone in West Africa thinks it’s the hamburger, but I challenge that chili is as American as apple pie…. or the hamburger.

                Korhogo 002I found some great beans in the market, called haricot rouge and haricot blanc (creative I know), not to be confused with haricot vert (green beans).

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           Bell peppers, onions, and garlic are all easy finds in the Grande Marche.

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Pepper, however, you have to grind yourself

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                  I know that this look appetizing!

Ground beef doesn’t really exist here, so you buy boef sans os (beef without bones) and then you take it to a grinding machine, which are usually used for making peanut butter. This beef came out looking more like meat juice! It looked fairly normal once it was cooked though!

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Korhogo 008 Everything cooked Ivoirian style (I have a feeling campfire cooking is going to seem much easier after this year!).


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        Mama Yeo got a kick out of me cooking! She kept saying, “ma fille, la cuisiniere!”, in this silly voice she sometimes uses to talk to me. Dorcas was a huge help, making the rice and opening the can of corn I found in the market. We were in serious need of a can opener.         

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After hours and hours of slaving over the fire…(okay I’m exaggerating) the chili was finished minutes before a big storm started. Talk about good timing!

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Then it was time for the taste test:

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All in all, I think it was a hit! Mama Yeo sent bowls of it to our neighbors, the Tuo family, and to our pastors. I’m hoping it’s because she liked it and not because she wanted to get rid of it! :)

In the storm that night, we saw some of the most amazing lightning! I could see it striking down our street! And I was worried I’d be missing fireworks!

The next day we decided to have a fun day of celebrating being 5 American kids in a foreign country. What could we do but go swimming? (even though it’s hotter in California right now!)

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This is CJ’s little brother, Emmanuel.

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This is our Moroccan friend, Rodolph who also happens to run our favorite chawarma shop.

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We sang the Star Spangled Banner about as loud as we possibly could. I think our Ivoirian friends have gotten used to the white people doing weird things, because they seemed to think it was perfectly normal.

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            Don’t worry, Mom, we’re wearing sunscreen.

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It was nice to have a day to just be goofy and have fun. Sometimes we need a little bit of that. We realized that the 4th of July, for many of us, is mostly about spending time with family and friends. Sure, we barbecue, and swim, and watch the fireworks, but I think the key is being with people that you love. Many of us were thinking of our family traditions and get-togethers back home, but this year’s celebration wasn’t lacking! God provides family wherever we go.

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