As Assistant Coordinator of AVN Senegal I am in charge of research and development on training and technical issues and co-manage deployment in the field while assisting with strategy and networking.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Feasting in Senegal

Poached fish, fresh veggies, stewed rabbit, and stuffed chicken

Life has been good and food bountiful at my garden these days.

 Catfish from the stream in my garden. Such a succulent meaty fish! I fried thick slabs of it over the fire with garlic, oil, and fresh basil. After taking that first scorching, juicy, delicious bite I had to sit down, take deep breaths, and talk myself into remaining calm and eating slowly. Maybe I'm a bit protein starved. Or maybe it was that good.

 Fruits of the garden. Moringa leaves on the left--these tree leaves are more nutrient rich than spinach and ubiquitous in my garden now--in the bowl are pigeon pea pods (like green beans that grow on trees) basil, and tomatoes.

 Skinning the first of my rabbits to be turned into lunch. Browned with onion and garlic then slow stewed it with beans, rice, eggplant, carrots, peppers and basil. I shared lunch with my grandfather at the farm and then took all the leftovers home for dinner where my family quickly cleaned the bowl. My brother enthused over the meal, praising the meat and my skill. Afterwards his wife declared simply, "Mustafa mën na togg," "Mustafa can cook." Jealous, sis?

 My latest in a series of trial and error designs to develop the perfect low-cost rabbit hutch. This is my ultimate winner. Built entirely out of branches of the tree Azadirachta indica bent and woven together. I used a negligent amount of twine and to make the floor I pay 1500 CFA ($3) for a meter of wire mesh which I brace with more branches underneath. It is durable, portable, easy to build, cheap, and with the shady interior and wire bottom provides a cool sanitary environment. I have built four already and intend to complete many more.

Christmas dinner in Toubacouta with a bunch of the other volunteers! We had garlic mashed potatoes, fresh cranberry sauce, green beans, home-made chocolate chip cookies, and snacks brought fresh off the plane from the USA by one of my good friend's brother and cousin who are here visiting. I baked banana bread and stuffed and baked two chickens and another of my rabbits Thanksgiving-style. It's a rare occasion that I get to stuff myself to repletion here but this was one of those times. Excellent breakfast leftovers too.

I sure miss being home with family and friends in the States but we survive here.

Happy holidays!

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