So my 24th birthday was last week. Second one in Guinea which is kind of strange. This year I wanted to do something a little different. Some friends came to visit for my anniversaire and we purchased, killed, prepped, cooked and devoured 2 chickens. It's something I have never done before, and being such a lover of chicken parm/ nuggets/ flavored ramen I thought now would be as good of time as any to understand how that bird winds up on my plate. After slitting the throat and letting the blood (I killed one and Kenny killed the other) we dunked them into boiling water to facilitate the defeathering process. Next, we gutted them and cut them into parts. Shidassa was the master chef for the evening and cooked the chicken over our charcoal stove while the rest of us helped prep and fry up the french fries in the ever plentiful peanut oil. Not only was it delicious, it was, honestly, strangely satisfying to eat something that I had a hand in (literally) every step of the way. I feel like back home we've been polarized - either we associate all of this with overly graphic, appetite ruining images from PETA or make an effort to stay ignorant of the whole process as we take another bite out of our double quarter-pounder with cheese. It was comforting to break past this meaty-partisanship and experience what my neighbors and millions of others around the world do every day. It wasn't "cruel." It certainly wasn't "factory farming." It was life. It was 6 hungry PCVs who wanted to eat some chicken. And at the very least, I got to ring in my 24th birthday with great friends and a delicious meal, even if we secretly cringed throughout the entire process (we did it, but that doesn't mean we weren't a little grossed out).
1. Christina and Kenny getting chicken number one ready.
2. Lucas - from "swissland" made a surprise visit on my birthday and was kind enough to bring Sean along too!
3. Getting the charcoal ready.
4. You can't see it, but on the inside I look like this >.<
5. Chicken number one done.
6. The crew: Kenny, Shidassa, Lucas, me, Christina and Sean (from left to right)