1. Romania Hungry for More

    As I sit down to write yet another account of the unique life I’ve had here in Romania Peace Corps, it occurred to me that one of the greatest joys I’ve found has been to visit, nurture, admire, imbibe, or otherwise ingest glorious things from the gardens of my neighbors and my own.  After just having finished a small, but precious bunch of early black grapes (struguri), I decided to take a seat on the wicker bench outside the home of some of my most favorite Romanian friends here in a villag...

  2. Brazil Fruit and Nuts

    The cajú is an edible fruit which also yields one cashew nut per fruit. The nuts need to be roasted and shelled before they can be eaten. Aracajú, the capital of Sergipe, is named for the ara bird and the cajú.

  3. Vanuatu Got Laplap?

    I fell in love with Taro Laplap after visitng the island of Ambae in Vanuatu. Laplap is a traditional baked dish of Vanuatu made of root crops (taro in this case), beef, cabbage and buckets of coconut milk. mmmmmm!

  4. Vanuatu Cooking With Bamboo

    On the island of Paama, camping in the yam garden isn't unusual during the planting season.  I spent a few days in my adoptive family's yam garden in 2005 with some brothers and my Papa Edwin, seen here roasting bamboo stuffed with island cabbage and coconut milk for 'wasem maot' for the kava we chewed and drank as the sun went down.

  5. Mali Fast

    It's Pre-Service Training, it's Ramadan. This is how the days go. You wake up at four AM stumbling out from underneath your mosquito net with a full bladder, flashlight in hand, wiggling into flip flops and pressing the door open, careful not to touch the crickets inside the door frame, who stopped chirping, for once goddammit, when your flashlight turns on, flickering between gripping fingertips. You walk outside where the host sisters have prepared breakfast. Maybe you walk to the nyegan ...

  6. Moldova Breakfast with Maria

    One of my good friends in my village is the hairdresser who has an office or salon in the same building where my office is. She is the cutest lady and I enjoy our frequent conversations and moments giggling over a cup of tea and a few biscuits or cookies. She is always asking me questions, inquiring about my family, life in the USA and how to use a computer better. I even taught her to play "Heart and Soul" on the piano. Maria has really helped me to get through my service...

  7. Cameroon poisson braisée

    my favorite meal in Cameroon: poisson braisée avec batons de manioc. This was my regular fish mama in Batié.

  8. Cameroon Batié Market

    The once every 7-day traditional market in my Peace Corps village, Batié.

  9. Namibia A delicacy by any other name

    During training we all came together; volunteers, trainers, and host families to participate in a cultural day.  This day allowed the Namibians to show the newly arrived Americans many aspects of their diverse culture, namely food.  While many volunteers had partaken in these delicacies with their host families they had not helped in the preparation.  As many can tell you, eating a goat and slaughtering a goat are two very different things.  Unfortunately this goat and I had bonded in the com...

  10. Macedonia Rakia

    Rakia is the local 'moonshine' and is used for many things besides toasting special occasions (think of it as an all around product - household cleaner, shines your wooden furniture and cures what ails you!).  This is Tosho, our Macedonian father, with his great friend and neighbor, Baba Vera, making Rakia on a chilly Fall day.  Baba Vera always had a smile on her face!

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.