Thursday, September 29, 2011


I think I have eaten my body weight in peanuts over the past 2 days. People have been harvesting them for the past 6 weeks or so and I have recently gotten into eating them. There are two ways of preparing them-- steaming/boiling them in the shell or roasting them in the shell. there is no salting. People come over to my house with a pocket or shirt full of peanuts and we hang out and eat them.

Togolese have this really smooth crack, split, pop-into-the-mouth routine. i still have to use 2 hands and miss my face more often than not.

Its grilled corn season too. You take an ear of young corn and stick it in the fire until the kernals are nicely toasted, or charcoal, then eat it. so good. white and yellow corn are equally good.

I read about the concept of "slow time" in some magazine a couple days ago. I think that its a good way to characterize life here. People spend hours a day sitting under a neem or mango tree shelling peanuts and talking for example. You have time to notice and observe stuff too. I spend a lot of time on my porch doing crosswords and watching the world go back. This is especially good for thunderstorm watching. Think about spending 2 hours sitting on your porch with someone and doing nothing. its a really weird concept for americans. our self-worth is tied up in being "busy." granted, its really frustrating here when this different concept of time gets applied to things like, say, scheduled meetins, but thats just part of it.

i don't mind goats. but like 15 of them like to sleep on my porch at night. this makes going to the latrine at 2 am somewhat challenging sometimes. that and they knock my stuff over and it wakes me up. yet life goes on.

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