Tag Archives: Bird

Butter, flying

23 Aug

Happy Tuesday All!

I’m here in Elim and I have no food in the house.
Save for peanuts.
Plenty of peanuts.

Did you know that 20lbs of uncracked peanuts sells for about $14.50 US?
Peanuts don’t weight that much.
That’s a lot of peanuts.
Peanuts for peanuts.

So, I have peanuts.
Everyone has peanuts.

“What do you do when you have hundreds of pounds of peanuts?”
I’m open to suggestions.
Anything but peanut butter.
That foray was an epic fail…:

Value added products are almost always a good idea.
‘Maybe Jamaicans could start marketing their own peanut butter??’, I thought.
Cooked, raw, honey added, salt free…Oh the butters we could make!
Maybe we could go organic!
I started to dream…
I have peanuts.
How bad could this be??

I allotted an entire afternoon for experimentation.

Peanut Sand

Hmm, looks like I need to add some oil….

“Blech!!!!!” – too much oil!
*grumble grumble*
(quick google search…)

There is more than one kind of peanut. At least four.
Who knew?
As you may have guessed, not all peanuts make peanut butter.
Wah wah.
Turns out, the kind we have in Elim? Not for peanut butter.
There is little hope in implementing a new kind of peanut around here since my community uses the nuts of this harvest as seeds for the next crop; cheaper and more efficient that way. Please start brainstorming various butter alternatives.

In severely more depressing news, a friend of Peace Corps and companion of mine, Tony, in Accompung, passed away last week. He had liver cancer and opted to stay in Jamaica living out his life rather than going through intensive and inconclusive radioactive treatment (for the second time). My blog is sarcastic and my transitions abrupt but I by no means intend any disrespect towards this man. On the night of his death I felt his presence around me and dreamt he was flying to heaven. If he heard that he would roll his eyes, laugh out loud, and say something sarcastic and crotchety — most likely about not believing in heaven.
Oh well, it’s already in print 🙂
I have fond memories of him as a generous individual and am sad he is no longer with us.

Rest in Peace, Tony

In absurdly-inappropriate positive news, my parents purchased a plane ticket for me to fly home!
I am really looking forward to vacation.
October 11th – 19th
9 days.
Woot woot!!
I am so grateful.

Also, this next week, the new Basic School is having its grand opening!
Do Do Do Dooooo!
My entire community is talking about it. They are so proud.
It’s the first new building up in Elim in over 30 years!
It is a huge accomplishment — Soon I will attach pictures of progress.

In other education news, I’ve been in contact with a school in Virginia, Woodland Elementary – Shout Out! We are conversing through a Peace Corps initiative called World Wise Schools. These students ask challenging questions about Jamaica and I have been busying myself Wikapedia-ing their answers. “What are Jamaicas top three exports??” I’ll tell you in 0.34 seconds…
It’s the start of a beautiful friendship.

Speaking of beautiful friendships look who I saw yesterday!
(Molly, skip this)

Polly want some Ackee

I have some friends who don’t like birds *cough cough* but…He’s green, and he’s hungry. I think these characteristics make him very relatable.
I like him.

Here, parrots usually hang out in flocks; devouring guavas, ackee, and peanuts (most Jamaicans think them a nuisance). I rather envy their bottomless stomachs while admiring their lively color and dreaming of taking flight myself.

But for now I will have to satiate my get-up-and-go desires through books.
They take me to another world.
This week I finished Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (fabulous) and an awful book by Garrison Keillor albeit with a promising title, A Life in Comedy.

I don’t list all my books for you all the time because, well, I have a heart.
If you ever wanted to chat books, though, I welcome your input.
Please be aware that I read what’s available. Do not offer suggestions (unless prepared to send me a copy) as it is inconvenient to obtain books living on an island with a low literacy rate and on an even lower volunteer-salary.

In more personal reading-news, my dearest has started his own blog!
It’s clever: “In the Pursuit of…” and he’s a wonderful writer.
Nick told me he is not quite ready to make it open to fans so this is just a teaser. Feel free to harass him; it’s super fantastic and the public deserves access!!!
Hopefully a link will soon come.

Okay. That’s all I’ve got.
I’m going to go put on my peanut-thinking-cap and stare at birds in motion.

One Love,

Peanut Land

27 Jul

All this week I popped out of bed
Made breakfast, did chores, and I said
Not all white girls are “stoosh”
As proof I went into the bush
But now I’m so tired I feel like I’m dead!

It’s Peanut Time and everyone, everyone has peanuts to harvest.

The Process:
Once peanuts reach maturity (approximately 3 months after planting) they need to be pulled. For this you arrive at the farm early in the morning (because “It’s so hot in Elim that…”). You pull up the peanut plants by their roots, shake off excess dirt, and leave them in large piles to dry in the sun for several days.
An acre of land could take 5 people 3 full days to pull.

Once the peanut plants are no longer in the ground, organized into messy piles, and have dried in the sun for at least 3 full days, you can begin the process of actually ‘picking’ the peanuts off of the plant.
This activity, blessedly, can be done in the shade but has to be done sooner rather than later because birds, unfortunately, also like peanuts.
This same acre takes those same 5 people 5 more days to pick and sort.

I'm day dreaming about ice cream

These peanuts, in their shells, lay out in the sun (yes, again) for 3 more days.
By this time they are “well dry” and so am I.
Time to get hydrated.

The next activity, although not as urgent, but just as tedious involves cracking the shells and retrieving the nuts. Hours (and now days) of my life have petered away during this mindless, (but necessary) task.

Suffice to say I’ve had peanuts at every meal; peanut porridge, parched peanuts, rice ‘n peanuts, peanut dumplings, peanut juice, peanuts on my salad, peanuts in my oats, peanut cakes, peanut drops, and on and on.
I’ve done little else this past week.
And what I have done has been at night.
And always in front of the fan.

Tonight, pray for me to have creamy, sugary, cold (think peanut-dairy) wet-dreams.

Yours until the ice ages,
‘mi 🙂