Saturday, June 11, 2011

Random Bits

  • It's hot in Haiti. Duh! The past two weeks have been cloudy and rainy, so we haven't felt the heat as much. Then yesterday morning the sun came out! Hallelujah - maybe my laundry will dry in less than 3 days! With the sun, came even more heat and humidity. It gets up to about 33 degrees Celsius during the day, and down to a cool 30 degrees at night. While I have no idea what the humidity is, I can say it is high by the perma-sweat on my face. Ugh! Oh well, as long as there is water for showers, I'm a happy camper. I'll take it over -40 and snow!
  • I'm getting used to being called Mme Cal (pronounced Man Cal). In Haitian culture, once a woman is married, and a lot of times even before she is actually married, she is called Madam whatever her husband's name is. At first I wanted people to still call me Janelle, but I've gotten used to answering to Mme Cal and kind of enjoy it. Even family and close friends do this - not more than 10 minutes after the wedding ceremony was finished, Cal's mom was calling me Mme Cal!
  • I'm also learning that cooked meat (beef) doesn't need to be stored in the refrigerator all the time. Last week, Marlene had come over to cook up some of the beef we had bought from the butcher on Saturday and she left it in a covered pot on the stove. When we got home, I asked Cal if we needed to put it in the fridge, he said no. The next day, Marlene came, fried it up and we ate it. Nobody got sick! I know that people do it all the time here because very few people have access to refrigeration with consistent electricity, but I just wasn't used to seeing it in my kitchen! Also, did you know that eggs don't need to be stored in the fridge either??
  • I learned how to make peanut butter the other day, well, partly. I came home after work and Mama (Mme Isaak) was getting ready to roast a bunch of peanuts in a big chodye (pot) over the richo (charcoal grill) on the porch, so I stayed out to watch her. We SLOWLY roasted the peanuts in the pot, stirring them almost constantly, adjusting the temperature of the pot by removing or adding pieces of charcoal). Once they were roasted sufficiently, she spread them on a large tray to cool and we started shelling the skins off. After that, she was going to take them to be ground and turned into peanut butter (of course with a little pepper added)!
That's all for today! Hope you are enjoying a sunny Saturday wherever you may be!

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