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Friday, October 27, 2006

Rice and Goat and Milk


The village of Gargando is at the edge of the Sahara desert. I brought a gift of three large cans of mixed vegetables, the awful ones with little cubes of carrots and peas. There are not vegetables in the Tuaregs' diet. Vegetables don't grow there. Most meals are rice, goat meat, butter, and milk. There's no way this can be healthy.

Men eat together. And women eat after. I ate with the men. Here we're eating in the dark (note the flashlight). Dinner is usually rice on a large round platter with goat meat. Everyone eats, usually with their hands, but I got a spoon, from the platter or bowls or whatever is there. You eat what's directly in front of you, so it's easy to see how much anyone's eaten by the hole they've left. I usually pushed some food around so it looked like I'd eaten. Goat, well, it's hard for me to choke even a little down.

I was writing a report at work today about this trip and thinking what an odd experience it is to be with turbaned Tuaregs, to sleep outside on a sand dune under a mosquito net, and to be in this place that is so foreign and yet so intriguing.

14 Comments:

Blogger meno said...

i am running out of superlatives with which to thank you for these wonderful posts. But i love visting them with you. I have a friend who is lebanese, and he hates all things goat.

9:57 PM  
Blogger jen said...

the simplest pieces of your marvelous journeys keep me hungry and on the edge of my chair. i know you said everyone wants to come with you, but dammit if i wouldn't be extraordinary at it. i'd eat your leftover goat.

regardless of my wanderlust, woman...you need to write a book. the world needs to see how similar we all are, in different hats and scarves, yet under the same sky.

1:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucia, the writing is great, but the pics too! Thanks!
Our neighbors are goat farmers. We had hoped they were dairy or angora types, but no, they are meat goats. They are so cute. As a vegetarian, what can I say to these neighbors? Paul McCartney was eating lamb chops one day and saw little lambs outside running around in the sun and.....well, made the decision I made.
Anyway, I know these folks have adapted their eating habits to what they have and what they can do, and that is fine, but if I was visiting, I would have ......???? I dunno, maybe eaten the goat or made it look like I had, which you did.

6:56 AM  
Blogger KC said...

You are opening doors for all of us to look out and expand our borders. This is important work.

7:28 AM  
Blogger Maggie said...

I'm curious about the women. I was wondering if they take the "order of things" as normal life or do they ever seem to question why they eat last? and not with the men? I have often pondered whether my intense sense of equality and justice have more to do with the culture I was raised in or if it is an inside thing that would come out anyways. Do you get to pick up on these things?

Does goat meat smell strongly?

See how many quirky questions I have for you? But if I can't live vicariously through your experience...what will I do? :-)

8:15 AM  
Blogger Thailand Gal said...

So... does goat smell like chicken?

When I lived in Colorado, my ex and I rented a house with a huge back yard. Occasionally the owners would bring a goat to eat all the "stuff" growing back there. The goat was honestly just about the stinkiest thing I can ever recall.


:)

9:27 AM  
Anonymous kat said...

Every single post amazes me. I love reading about what you are doing!

11:36 AM  
Blogger Susan as herself said...

I agree with gr---the pictures are like a window to another world most of us will never see. Mighty fascinating, and we all thank you for sharing.

2:34 PM  
Blogger bobealia said...

I think I would hate goat. I hate mutton. Is that the same thing? I like young lamb though. That must be wrong.
Why did you get to eat with the men? Did they explain?

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bread doesn't look too bad - kind of like indian naan. I think I might've eaten the goat if it wasn't gamey, we eat it alot here in curries...did they use spices?

9:14 PM  
Blogger Domestic Slackstress said...

Good for you for being such a polite guest about the goat. I once tried goats at my neighbor's house. He's from the Philippines. I stored it in my cheek for what seemed like hours. I'm jealous of your travels. I miss traveling.

1:16 AM  
Blogger Marsha said...

WOW!!! what an experience.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so incredible. I love your stories. You have such a beautiful way with words, have you ever considered publishing??

11:58 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

I'm with Meno. Can I just keep commenting "Wow"? Because honestly, that's all I can muster after reading your posts.

4:57 PM  

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