Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Peppers and Sh...Stuff

I am currently searching for the perfect way to summarize my semester so that when I return and people ask “How was it?” I can actually respond. I explained to my host parents last night that I was looking for a single word that could represent all of my time in Cameroon to see if they had any suggestions. After a moment of brief reflection, they both said s***!

Granted, that word is used much more causally here and it was really just to indicate that it might be hard to find one word for everything I’ve done and seen, but since my exact question was “what word could I use to represent my semester here?” I thought it was pretty funny.

Deceptively Innocent Looking.

On a totally separate note, earlier today I helped my older brother and my mom prepare dinner: a rice dish similar to risotto and koki. (I really can’t explain koki other than to say that it’s a traditional Cameroonian dish.) Anyways my job was to chop the vegetables for the rice. Parsley, tomatoes, onions, green pepper, and pimante. If you don’t remember pimante from a previous post, it’s basically the hottest pepper in the entire world. (Okay, that’s probably not true. But from a girl who often thinks mild salsa is too much it is like an inferno in my mouth.) Anyways, when I started cutting the pimante I made a mental note not to touch my face until I had washed my hands mostly for fear of going blind if the fire touched my eyes.

Apparently I forgot that message at some point because after a few minutes the side of my nose started to burn. The running water had been cut so I went to my room and tried a wet wipe. But when my cheek started burning as well it became clear that a wet wipe was insufficient. So then I tried pouring bottled water on myself over the sink, this accomplished nothing other than to spread the pain all over the rest of my face. (Fortunately, it never really got into my eyes.) After two or three other failed attempts at removing the invisible heat source, I surrendered to simply waiting it out. My face on the other hand decided the best course of action would be to sweat excessively.

Fortunately, I survived. After 20 minutes of serious burning and sweating, the pimante lost its power. And since there is always a silver lining, it turns out that pimante on your face is a great way to shrink your pores.

1 comment:

  1. I hope the meal was worth all your hard work and sweat! Hoping you will be able to share some of your culinary adventure (minus the pimante) when you get home.