As the title hints at, today was fish fry day with the guys. They wanted to cook up a bountiful feast for me (and them too), and I agreed to fund the enterprise.
After bartering, five small fish were purchased fresh off the beach from a fisherman. I’ve seen this guy before, he operates independently by diving down and spearing fish with his own speargun. Kinda cool.
The kids showed me how to clean the fish, and I did two myself (Joe would be glad to know the knife he bought for me was used for this disgusting chore).
The fish were marinated in spices, then breaded with flower, then fried.
After getting many pots, pans, and dishes dirty, slicing onions and other assorted vegetables, spilling oil on the concrete, using half the spices in the village, and purchasing a slew of cokes from Darlene, etc, all six of us sat down to an amazingly scrumptious meal of flavored rice and beans with fish. Grand total cost for everything was under $10. All were full and there was leftovers after. It was a lot of work, and the whole deal took half the day, but it was fun, and memorable.
In the first picture above are a set of identical twins. They aren’t even referred to by their individual names (Jeff and Jeffly), but rather collectively as, “The Twins.” Characteristically, in this picture they are sharing both a chair and a coke.
Sometimes I wonder about sanitation here though. Like the same plastic tub we used to gut the fish was also used to wash the dishes. And I never saw anyone wash their hands, except myself.
My big green water tank is now full because we got lots of rain these last several nights. In the picture below you can see it to the left (along with the backside of my house, my “washing dishes area,” the solar panels I use, and my clothes hanging out on the line to dry).
I wonder about bird poop on the roof making it into my rain barrel. Heck, a few days ago we fished out a dead, decomposing lizard from the bottom of my tank! Gross. The other gross thing about the water in that tank are all the little worms that swim around in it. You can see them quite clearly. This is the water I take “showers” with, as well as wash my dishes and clothes. I don’t drink it, though the kids did use it today for cooking our rice and beans. I hope they boiled it long enough to kill those little wriggly worms.
There are other gross things here. Like mice running around my house. They particularly like my bread, even when I try keeping it covered. I learned quickly mice can chew right through fly covers. Yesterday I saw my bread had been eaten into again by mice. I needed some bread though, so carefully picked out the pieces it looked like they hadn’t gotten to and ate those.
But perhaps the most grossest thing is my toilet at night when its raining out. Woe be to the person who needs to use the Jon under those particular set of circumstances. Because, if they do, when they open the lid, the inside will be lined with cockroaches, which some will scurry back down, but some will scurry out and run around the room, over your toes, etc. In the daytime the Jon is not bad at all, no cockroaches. Though sometime a lizard will run out when you open the lid, and almost always a cloud of mosquitos gush from the stall.
In general, living here feels like a perpetual campout. But the physical stuff isn’t that bad, after awhile. I think anyone could get used to it. Bug bites are perhaps most annoying.
What really is more difficult for me to cope with though are certain Haitian tendencies. But that will be for another post!