Sunday, November 22, 2009

Doro Wat

Doro what? Doro wat, of course, an Ethiopian favorite! Doro is chicken in Amharic, and I heard one dying as I was studying for my Tigrigna language test last Friday night. I went exploring on my compound and ended up in the family kitchen – the kitchen is a bit different than what you’re used to in America. It’s a room separate from the main house, complete with a dirt floor, an injera stove, a fire pit, several large cooking containers of sorts, and a pen for the family’s 7 sheep…(no countertops, no sink, no dishwasher, or other electric appliances). In addition to the 2 cats, there were 5 of my family members sitting on the floor, doing various culinary activities/watching the action. One of the ladies was plucking the feathers off of the freshly killed chicken…she held it up for my admiration, then proceeded to hack it into edible pieces after it was devoid of all feathers. Then, to get the meat super clean, it was washed with soap and water…so fresh AND so clean. Literally. I was later served the hen’s last laid eggs for my dinner…circle of life?

When I went to shower on Saturday morning, I noticed the pot of doro wat sitting in the shower room. Strange storage place, right? And I got walked in on (there’s not a lock on the door) for the retrieval of the pot (I turn the water off while lathering up because it’s so cold…so maybe they figured I had left the room…wrong!) So that wasn’t awkward or anything…And then I had doro wat for breakfast. I usually try to stay away from meat because I have no idea what kind it is, but this time I definitely knew where the chicken came from…my yard/my shower room!

Not much else is happening in my life…The wheat harvest just took place this past week in my town. Many students missed the week of school in order to help out on the family farm(s). There is a ton of wheat on my compound now. Our cow is still pregnant – hopefully she’ll give birth while I’m still living here. Tigrigna lessons seem to be about the same as Amharic – somewhat difficult, but doable. The language here is pretty crazy sounding and looking. Tigrigna will be more challenging now only because there’s no one in my town (outside of my language instructor and the other 2 girls in my class) who speaks it, so we won’t have the opportunity to practice whenever we want. I think I’ll get a tutor once I move to site.

One of the girls in my town was a yoga instructor back in the states, so she put on a yoga class for us this morning, which was a great release/necessary occurence. I don’t have any really crazy stories. My count for seeing people poop on the side of the road is now up to 2…I survived a few days of diarrhea and 1 day of vomming and a fever…I managed 5 whole weeks without any problems! 6 weeks of PST are down, and we move to site in almost exactly 1 month! I have posted my new address on the side, so start directing mail to that address (PC recommends to not send mail to the Addis address once we’re through with training).

While everyone else is enjoying amazing and copious amounts of food on Thanksgiving, I will be enjoying a Snickers bar that I bought in Addis and a can of wasabi & soy almonds that I’ve been saving from the start of my trip … yummmmmmm!


  1. Wat's for dinner tonight? I just looked up the recipe and it really look delicious. Was it served with a boiled egg? Do they use a lot of fenugreek in the cooking there? As always, love, mommy

  2. Great blog!!!
    If you like, come back and visit mine:

    Pablo from Argentina

  3. Hey Laura,

    My name's Nick, I'm a Peace Corps volunteer from all the way south in Namibia. I COS in a week, and going to traveling throughout Africa. The idea is cape town to Cairo, going along East Africa. I was wondering if you knew of any PC volunteers in Ethopia that would be willing to host traveling volunteers for a night or two. If you could help me out at all I'd greatly appreciate it! (and i can cook)