Saturday, December 5, 2009

Well Hello Mister Chicken.

  I believe we’ve met before.  I think I shall eat you for lunch today.

DSC_1095That’s kind of how it happened.  Yesterday, while i was out in the church yard (which is in the same yard as the Pastors House) taking pictures, Pierre, a church member who also works here at the House during the week, and stays on the grounds while the Pastor is away, stood at the top of the stairs and called to me to take a picture.  Coming closer, I saw he was holding a chicken, which had its feet bound.  I snapped a couple pictures to oblige him and quickly realized what was going on.  I knew that soon, Mr. Chicken, would meet its fate and become my lunch.

I am not against eating meat.  I eat meat, often.  But when I’m out with teams. I usually refrain from eating the meat because its often goat or fish, neither of which I am a fan of.  It is also somewhat awkward for me to have previously met something I will eventually eat.  Sometimes that happens too, as it did in Tiburon and as was the case this time.  But as was also the case this time, I really had no choice but to eat the chicken.  It had been selected, killed and prepared especially for me. 

This morning while Madam Pastor and a couple ladies who work at the house were preparing lunch on the porch where the stove and “kitchen” area is located, I was in the sitting area, reading.  As I read, she brought over to me a plate with two very strange looking pieces of “meat”.  She handed the plate to me, indicated they were for me and asked me if I had ever eaten them before.  I had no idea what they were. I smiled politely and said I didn’t think I had and I can almost guarantee you I had never eaten them before. 

She told me that women in Haiti use “all of the chicken” and that the men, including Pastor, enjoyed this particular part of the chicken.  She told me what it was called but I didn’t recognize it.  I looked up the various “innards” of a chicken in the Creole dictionary I had and couldn’t find anything that sounded similar. 

She had gone back to the stove and continued cooking but my world was standing still.  I didn’t want to eat it.  I had no idea what it was.  There were two small dark pieces of a chicken parts that I couldn’t recognize staring at me, beckoning me to go and ahead and taste them.  And what could I do, I didn’t want to be rude…

I have seen a lot of things and done a lot of things in Haiti that I never thought I would.  I’ve used small almost non-existent holes in the ground as a toilet, I’ve eaten rooster and goat, I’ve had mice in my closet, mildew on my clothes, I’m even now, on week three of taking bucket showers, and none of this has ever bothered me like the moment I had to decide to chalk it up to experience and eat this mysterious chicken part that had been so graciously offered to me.  What was a girl to do.  I was having an American, out of my element, you can’t expect me to eat “THAT” can you?, moment.  I wanted to cry.

And then I ate it.

And it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

Although I probably won’t be making a special request for them any time soon. 

And I’m not sure I really want to know what it was that ate.

But the important part was that I ate it. And I survived.

And we had chicken for lunch.

And it was good.


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