Jody's Peace Corps Experience

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Hiking and Filipino Food

So I've been trying several Filipino dishes that are very unique to say the least. The other night I thought that dinner was great. It was seyote (a squash that is native to the Philippines), onions, pork, garlic, vinegar, and pepper. I asked my host mom to tell me the ingrediates because it seemed like such a simple dish to make. She relayed all of the above ingrediants which didn't seem to be that uncommon, right? I asked, just make sure, if that was all and she said, "Oh, I almost forgot! There's also pig blood." I said, "WHAT?!?!" My host mom assured me that she never buys the pig blood in the market because she's unsure of how old it is and that her friend had killed a pig that morning so she bought the blood from them. Needless to say, I'm pretty sure I won't be making this for supper.

Another dish that Filipinos love to make is spaghetti...yes, spaghetti, only it's completely different than what we have in the states. When they tell you how they make the sauce, the ingrediants begin the same; onions, garlic, pepper, etc. When it comes to the part of the list when you think they'll say tomatoes, it never comes, instead the main red ingrediant is banana ketchup with mayo! And if it's a meat sauce, usually it's cut up, bright red hotdogs or a spam consistencey meat. Very funny...they use banana ketchup for everything.

On a different note, last Sunday I went on a hike up into the mountains surrounding Vista Hill. We left early in the morning. Many of the people in our community can't believe that we would want to walk up the mountain for fun. Most people only go up if something is wrong with their water. So I went with another trainee and our language instructor. It was AMAZING! When we got to our first clearing, we could see the national highway we take to NVSU and the river that runs by it. We went further and came to another clearing. We could see for miles and it was a great way to see how farming is done in the mountains. We were also able see one of the spring boxes that supplies water to our community. Many of you may have been making bets already as to when I will break an ankle here...I almost did climbing up to the spring box. Luckily it held out and I made it out alive!