Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thanksgiving and other "bird" matters

Thanksgiving was nice to have off and just spend time with family.

The morning started with the kids having pillow fights with Heather and Mr. Lynn.

We had a big meal in the cafeteria,

and then at 3pm, a lot of people participated in a 5K Turkey Trot our recreation team put together. I cheered the runners and walkers on as they came by my quad (like Doug and Kylie), but I stayed close to home because Karis and Caleb were taking naps.

Washington DC, the next day, was a terribly cold trip, but fun nonetheless. I took a picture of Caleb's face when the subway started. It was priceless. He loved the speed and the tunnel.

We went to an area of town where we could find people in our people group. Well, I knew no Lugbara would be there, but we did share with people from Togo, Mali, and Senegal in their shops. We also talked with some people on the street and helped one man pick up the leaves he was sweeping.

We ate at an Ethiopian restaurant and again, ate with our fingers.

The food was good and it was nice to be some place warm. Caleb was turning purple and needed to defrost.

We would take the injera bread (a spongy substance that didn't feel like bread at all) under the food, plus some extra they gave us, and use it as a scooper for the food.

After lunch, we took a detour to the "mall" so the kids could see the Capitol and the Washington Monument.

When we got out of the metro tunnel, the wind hit us hard. The journeygirls we were with had seen everything in DC before except Lincoln's memorial, so we walked there. Looking back, that was a bad decision. WAY too far (past Washington Monument, WWII memorial, and the reflection pool - which was drained for some reason - see picture)

with tired, cold kids, but nevertheless, we saw it. I let everyone else walk up the steps while I stayed with our borrowed stroller.

I was able to talk with people and take at least 5 pictures for people.

Back in Union Station, I tried to start a conversation with a man to share with him, but he told me his life was none of my business, and he wanted me to leave him alone. After that, I was pretty much done for the day :) , so Doug ordered some food to go, so the kids could eat dinner on the bus, and we loaded up for the ride home.

Yesterday, we had our first day of "Affinity Week." We don't spend the week with the other 83 people; just our Sub-Saharan Affinity. There are 19 of us. We spend the whole week in class together with our Stateside Liasons, a couple who spent many years in Africa, and we talk about only "Africa things."

We have exit interviews this week and have to turn in our exit papers. Next week we wind down and come home! But I still have lots of assignments to finish, so I can't be dreaming about that just yet.

Today at 3:30, they demonstrated how to kill, pluck, and prepare a chicken. Do you think I took the kids? Yes, I did. Might as well get exposed here with familiar people we love.

(I've spared you the rest)

Unfortunately, the lady killing the bird could not pull hard enough on the neck, so someone had to run over with a knife to assist.

I will say this, plucking a chicken is TONS easier than I thought it would be. After the head was gone, the bird was immersed in extremely hot water for 30 seconds, and after that, the feathers just "wiped off." It was pretty amazing.

Yes, I said, "Amazing." The kids thought it was pretty cool, too.

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