Sunday, October 30, 2005

Milking the Cow

The view from my host family's house in TimHdit

My attemp to try and milk a cow. You can even see the milk flowing. Yum!

We’re back at our CBT (community based training) site in TimHdit, town of supposedly 15,000 people 20 minutes or so outside of Azrou. I say supposedly because it seems as if there are only 5,000 people there but they tend to include the surrounding villages into their numbers. We went there a few weeks ago for about a week. This time, we’re in TimHdit for 2 weeks. FYI: There’s no Internet in TimHdit and I’m actually back in Azrou for the day doing this journal entry. There are 5 of us: Eileen, Lauren, Katie, Christine and me. Our language teacher Fatima makes six. We all live at separate host family houses. For the most part, are families are all related. I am living with the President of TimHdit. His wife and my host mom’s brother is the Shik. The Shik is Christine’s host father. His daughter, Suaad, is Lauren’s host mom. Christine’s host mom and Katie’s host mom are best friends. Or maybe it’s Lauren and Katie’s host moms that are best friends? Are you following me here? It’s a little confusing and it took us awhile to figure out who was related to whom but I think we have it now.
During CBT, we have language class and community research projects all day. We all go home to our host families late in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day with them. There are a few things that I’ve had a chance to do with my host family. This time around, I got to help with the making of Lfdur. Everyone is fasting here for Ramadan so the whole day is basically spent preparing food for the breaking of the fast. I helped make bread, scale and filet fish (yeah to being a Florida girl), skin and chop two chickens for kebobs and, my personal favorite, make mint tea. I’m finally acquiring those domestic skills I’ve been lacking for oh so many years. It was actually really fun being in the kitchen. I’m starting to realize what it’s like to be in a country that doesn’t depend on the fast food industry. Trust me, I definitely have days when all I crave is a Cook Out hamburger, onion rings and large sweet tea. It is comforting, however, to know that the food your eating is fresh (remember my chicken story?)
Speaking of fresh, another thing I’ve been able to do while at CBT is milk a cow. The neighbor, also named Fatima, helps out with a lot of the house and field work at my host family’s house. When I came home from school and saw her milking the cow I thought, hey, what the heck! It doesn’t look that hard. Well, well! First of all, I completely felt like I was violating the poor heifer. I mean, how would you feel if someone tried to milk you? When I got over that thought and really started to milk ol’ Bessie, I realized it was definitely harder than it looks. When I had enough of the mocking and laughing from those that were around me, I stepped back and handed the reigns back to Fatima. Hopefully, for my benefit and the cows, that will be the last time I milk anything in this country.

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