Saturday, January 19, 2008

New Year's Day

So I’m writing this considerably after New Year’s Day, so you’ll have to bear with my patchy memory. I went to bed just after midnight New Year’s Eve, and was frankly astounded I made it to midnight, there was nothing special that night, although I heard a few fire works go off and some loud music not much else. The Next morning I woke up to the sound of pilè-ing. Probably around 9 or 10, I was served yam pilé with peanut sauce and soy cheese for breakfast, now I know that sounds bizarre but hey it was delicious. Around noon, when people were maybe beginning to think about eating again after the mid-morning pilé I started handing out cookies, I think I got really close on getting enough cookies for everyone to have one. They were a big hit. I went to the catholic mission to deliver a few cookies and was invited to stay for lunch and celebrate the new year there with them, so of course I did. That was rice and pasta for me, with pork for the meat eaters, salad, and papaya and bananas. Delicious. After lunch I went back home and gathered up the cookies and bread I had made for Mama, and went out to give them to her, and she reminded me that I was to come back for yam pilé later. I received, 13 eggs from my censor, I think it’s traditional to give meat, but he of course knows I am a vegetarian. I didn’t get a lot of food given to me but did get lots of I’m so sorry, we don’t have anything vegetarian to give you, messages. I can however be very glad for the few families that are always willing to try to make something for me, my next door neighbors, my mama, the catholic mission and a few others. I took a loaf of bread to the teachers who are like dorm parents at the catholic boarding school, and was given yogurt mixed with couscous, which while not quite what I’m used to was also wonderful. The day ended of course with me having the best yam pilé I’ve found in Copargo (or anywhere) with Mama. It was a really busy day, taking someone cookies here is not quite the same as in the states, you take them food, sit down, have a glass of water, or juice, or some food, chat about life and the kids and the house, and the pets, and work, etc. Then you give and receive about 10 minutes of happy new years and good wishes before you finally go back home. If there is a meal included this little trip to drop off cookies can take over an hour. But over all it was an incredibly pleasant way to spend new year’s day.

1 comment:

loehrke said...

Generations from now the people of Benin will tell stories of the time the "cookie lady" came to the country on New Year's Day and magically had enough cookies for everyone.
At least that's the way I see it!!!
You're the best!!!,
Mark Loehrke (Carly's dad)