Saturday, June 13, 2009

Blue Draws

Time is flying. We fianlly swore in at the US Embassy on the 15th of May. Hard to believe that was a month ago.

So I'm an official "Peace Corps Volunteer" (PCV- we love acronyms). There are a lot of projects I'm looking forward to getting started on. Expaning the recycling program, starting an Environmental Club at the school, starting a library (The community & school both lack one), getting equipment for the Communtiy Center's Clinic, working on a summer camp, getting some bus stops/painting murals, getting a footbridge built so kids can get to school/don't have to go through the rive to get there during rainy season, ict/computer training etc.

I have a list going... hopefully everything goes smoothly.

So today I spent the day with Ms. Nugent (My Project Partner) at the Castleton church of god (or something like that) chilling out making blue draws.

Originally I thought they were called Tom’s draws instead of “blue draws”.

Who is Tom & why is he special enough to have a dish named after his underwear?

Everyone cracked up when I called it “tom’s draws”.

The real name for it is Dokanu.

Anyway I'm not sure if I can find the recipe but it mainly consisted of grated sweet potatoes, grated dry coconut, flower, cornmeal, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg (fresh nutmeg- from a yellow fruit that splits open as it drys, wrapped in a beautiful red waxy design, you grate the seed to get the spice). It smells delicious.

So after we got the mix together we went behind the building where a bunch of banana trees are growing & cut a bunch of huge leaves. The trees "bled" clear liquid.

So then we held the leaves over a fire until the green changed into a darker shade, that way the wrap holds together after we tie it. Cut the leaves off of the stalks, arranged in piles, plopped the dough onto the banana leaves, folded them a few times into rectangles & ties with strings from the banana tree.

Prepped about 40, put them all in a pot to boil for an hour, let them dry out and then stuck in the fridge.

I lived off of those things for about a week, they're delicious. The farmers really loved them too- I brought them to a work day & it was a hit.

Work days here are huge, right now we're working on building a foundation for Ms. Grant's house so Food For the Poor can take over & get the rest built. They're living in a chicken coup in the mean time so we're scrambling to get everything done before the first hurricane hits.

The area is prone to land-slides so there are a lot of people I'm concerned about up here, considering a lot of things are supported by stilts.

One lady loses about 1 room per year because of the hill/rain.

So I also think that whatever gully project we get started will massively help the community too, that should happen in August or September of this year.

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