Thursday, December 26, 2013

Home Again Home Again Jiggity Jig…

I was reading a PC blog the other day that included tips about PCVs going home.  It mentioned that we shouldn’t expect other people to want every single detail of our PC experience if we ourselves haven’t been in tune with every detail of our friends and family’s lives.  Admittedly, I find my life here quite different than living in the U.S. but whether in Guyana or the U.S. we all have our day to day occurrences.  Truthfully, no one is going to listen to all of them all at once and I can’t even remember them all anyway.  That is the main reason why I chose to write this blog about my experiences, so I can remember some of my thoughts and feelings about my service here and so that I can share some things more regularly with you. 

Now that I have gotten off track (my mind these days), let me get back to what I wanted to share.  In Peace Corps, I feel like things are always a little more uncertain than life at home.  I expected that I would only come home once during my service.  First of all it is expensive to travel back and forth, we have limited vacation days, and it’s just really hard to be back and forth between two different lives so to speak.  However, towards the end of October, I was realizing more and more that I was starting to feel burnt out.  I had had a packed summer, October I don’t think I was home one weekend, and then I had more activities in November.  Not to mention grad school apps, finishing my Masters work, and the limitless paper work impending for COS. 

I was sitting on a mini bus one day and I just craved being home; I needed a break, I needed to be with my family, I needed to get myself in order.  Luckily, my parents are amazing and were excited to have me home too.  I attended an AWESOME mini GLOW in Linden, which always recharges my spirit here and hopped on a plane the next day.  

All of a sudden I found myself standing on the streets of NYC bleary eyed and freezing searching for a Chipotle before I embarked on the next 4 hour bus ride leg of my journey.  Unlike last time, I barely told anyone I was coming home.  I just wanted to relax and spend time with my family.  Instead of cramming in everything all at once, things happened more organically.  I had no expectations and no real set plans and it was glorious.  I cooked what I wanted, explored some restaurants, and just was completely lazy at times.
My late November arrival put me right in line to celebrate on of my most favorite holidays; Thanksgiving.  My mom has a big family so we all get together and have a big delicious dinner. 

It was even more important to be there this year because it was the first without my uncle.  He recently passed away and Thanksgiving I think was one of his favorite holidays as well.  I couldn’t fathom the idea of my family getting together, remembering and honoring him and not being there.  I missed last Thanksgiving dearly, so I know this year would have been even worse.  It was definitely a bitter sweet day.  I loved seeing all of my cousins, aunts, uncles, but you could tell someone was missing.  The good thing about a big family though is that we are all there to support one another and it is also amazing to see the new generations of our family.  I also realized that a lot more people follow my blog than I thought.  It was really encouraging to hear that a lot of my family follows these posts and I really appreciate it!

As my parents and I drove down from New York, we looked for little off the beaten path restaurants.  I can remember taking lots of these types of long car rides, finding little places, and just enjoying ourselves.  We never really did the big, Disneyland trips, or traveled to really touristy places.  In a way I think this is why I appreciate the little places I come across here in Guyana or anywhere I travel.  I marvel at the small things, like really good food shops, and every so often I feel the need to get out and see something new, even if it isn’t that significant. 
After this past visit home, I feel much more comfortable with the idea of living back in the U.S.  When I visited home the first time, I wasn’t ready to be back; I simply still had a lot left to do in Guyana. I went to board my bus to New York and the bus manager happened to be Guyanese.  She exclaimed “You are going to Guyana?!  I wish I were going there!” I had to smile a little. I have met many Guyanese who want to come to the U.S., and this woman was yearning for Guyana.  I could relate though, no matter where you are there is always a wholesome, nostalgic feeling that compels you home from time to time.  When I touched down in Guyana I noticed any pangs of extreme culture shock were over.   As I stepped off the plane I switched U.S. mode off and Guyana mode on.  Without really blinking, I gave an impromptu speech for the end of our exercise class and helped out at another awesome mini-GLOW.  Somehow I have always hit the ground running here.  The only difference is that now I find myself saying goodbye to a lot of things.  As I was driving out of Black Bush from our minicamp, I realized that that might be the last one I do, the last time I’m even in Black Bush or see some of our campers.  Black Bush was one of the first rural sites I visited when I was first allowed to spend the night out of my own site.  How hospitable the people were and how different their community was compared as my own.  We have had many phenomenal GLOW girls come from that area and while it’s not a place I have visited often, it has made a big impression on me, just as a lot of villages and people in Guyana have. 

I expect to have a lot more moments like this in the next few months.  The next few months are actually all I have left.  It will be a mix of cramming in everything I still need/want to do here, freaking out about what I will do after PC, as well as figuring out how to leave things.  I know you need to have a goodbye in order to go on to the next thing, in which I have a lot of great adventures coming up, but it still doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.  And somehow no matter what I do, my eyes always seem to be allergic to goodbyes. 

As this is somewhat of a Thanksgiving post, I can tell you I am always and forever thankful for my family and friends that I have all over.  I also am extremely thankful for the opportunity to see so many amazing things here in Guyana, whether it is the beauty of the land, learning about the culture, or watching the lives of people change and grow, my experiences here have influenced me greatly.  Also I am grateful for the perspective to be thankful for the things I have never had to know and for the challenges that have made me a stronger individual.  Finally, I am thankful for the opportunity to know such a great uncle.  He will be greatly missed, but I know I am a better person because he has touched my life and that his memory will always live on within me.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Trek to Kaieteur

When you look down below at the lush, mossy green rocks from the top of Kaieteur Falls, two sentiments come to mind; one is that you would never want to fall down so far and the other is incredibly humbling.   You just sit there entranced, in awe, by the beauty and the power of nature.  I put Kaieteur on my list of places to see as soon as I knew I was going to Guyana for Peace Corps.  It is the biggest attraction, a sort of “must see” spot; Guyana doesn’t have too many of them.  It was also something I would eventually tick off my bucket list.  Suddenly, I found myself looking down at those mossy green rocks.  I feel as if this has been a trend lately, many of my “far off” plans have been put into place and I find myself suddenly standing in the midst of them trying to remember to breathe.  October went by incredibly quick.  It was jam packed with Cancer Awareness events, a few awesome parties, a Kaieteur trek, planning for future Camp GLOWs and Bros, as well as holding a film screening for International Day of the Girl.  Not to mention all the normal stuff that tends to happen.  We have a new set of students, we had sports day, we carved watermelons for Halloween, and I managed to find things to say for an hour long TV talk. 
I realize that Kaieteur is one of my last interior trips I will take as a person living in Guyana.  My trips to the hinterland regions have been some of my favorite experiences.  It’s weird to think in a few short months, going on a trek might just mean going to the supermarket in a bit of rain or snow instead of hopping on a speed boat or tiny plane and seeing toucans or vast mountain ranges covered with broccoli like foliage.  Before I delve into a downward spiral of preemptive nostalgia, let me tell you how Kaieteur easily made it to the top of my most memorable moments in Guyana.
A group of 7 of us decided to make the overland trip to Kaieteur Falls. It consists of an 8 hour bus ride to Mahdia, which basically means you can move your legs and arms about an inch and crane your neck to catch a little breeze that might be flowing through the bus.  Once you reach Mahdia, you stay at a hotel there.  We stayed at this really swanky one called Roger Hinds.  We also decided that all 7 of us would stay in one room (hey we had hammocks!) but the staff at the hotel wasn’t too keen once they got word of our idea.  We literally had to beg them to let us stay in the room and even told them we would string our hammocks outside if they had a place.  I think they felt a bit bad and  told us not to break the beds in the room, which was a really odd request.  We ate some AMAZING Brazilian food and cuddled up 4 to a bed to catch some rest.  The next morning we caught a ride to Pamela landing to catch our boat to Amatouk Island.
  It was only a 20 minute boat ride, but it meant we had the whole day on a very remote island with a beautiful waterfall.   The island was absolutely serene and it was ours to explore.  The house that was there was basic but had all the essentials we needed for our time there.   We swam almost the whole day, maneuvered up and down rocks, ate ramen, nasty Vienna sausages, and other goodies over an open fire, and settled into our hammocks for a good night’s rest.  We did almost accidentally blow up the house due to a faulty gas burner, but all ended well.  It was so relaxing just to be out in nature, I could start to hear myself think again. 
The next morning we caught some of the sunrise and drank warm coffee out on the porch.  It is a rare feeling to be cold in Guyana, so I savored the contrast of warm coffee against the chilly breeze.  Our boat captain’s wife Shirley told us we should see the Brazilian dredge which was operating close to where we were.  It is used for mining gold.  We hopped aboard and watched how they caught tiny flecks of gold in these mats.  It didn’t seem as tough as mining, but it looked like a lot of hard work and patience.  The cook on the dredge was extremely nice although she didn’t speak any English.  I spoke to her in a mix of Spanish and was able to practice some Portuguese I have been learning.  She showed us how she cooked, told us how often she goes to see her family, and even gave us some Brazilian coffee for the road! 
After touring the dredge, we packed up our things and headed out across the island to the other side of the river.  From there we took a boat up the Kaieteur National Park.  Once we reached the park, we had to get out of the boat and carry it up to another part of the river.
  Mountains towered over us as our boat sped along and we were all anxious to see the real Kaieteur in person.  We met our guide a bit late at the Kaieteur trailhead.  He alerted us that he sighted several very poisonous laborious (Viper) snakes on the trail. 
  I of course was hiking in Chacos, so I stood no chance against snakes, or the other angry soldier ants or tarantulas we saw along the way.  If you ever go jungle trekking, wear boots!  I did walk with a snake stick just in case, but we were fortunate not to run into any live ones.  Our guide somewhat sprinted up the trail and I was thankful I do a fair amount of running here in Guyana.  Some parts were just straight up on slippery rocks, so it was a good work out.  We all were sweating and panting once we reached the top.
The views and the fauna were unreal!  I felt like I had transported to a page of a Dr. Suess book.  We spent a lot of time checking out the different viewpoints and taking a ton of pictures.  At dusk, we scrubbed away the sweat and dirt from our hike as we bathed in the cool waters right above the falls. 
  We also watched as a flock of birds called swifts dive straight down into the falls.  Every evening they gather in large numbers and look like they are preforming in an airshow.  They fly up very high and then dive bomb down into the falls and you never really see them again.  Apparently, they nest in the cliffs of the falls and that is just their evening routine to go home.
 At the guest house where we were staying, we scored some left over chow mein and cooked our own feast.  We played dominos with some other people staying there and danced a little faja.  In the morning we explored a little more and got ready to catch our plane home.  While we were waiting at the airstrip, a bunch of other tour groups came through and had a buffet lunch right in front of us.  I asked our guide if he knew the others guides and could tell them to sneak us the left overs if they didn’t eat it all.  Eventually, we were ushered over and did some severe damage on the left over food.  I think we actually scared the tourists because we were a bit embarrassing in the way we chowed down on all their left over food.  They asked with a bit of hesitation, “Where are you from again?  Exactly how long have you been in Guyana?”  After doing AmeriCorps and Peace Corps, free food is always a jackpot.  Hopefully my ravenous food scavenging will dwindle at some point in life, maybe? 
Content with our adventure and full of delicious food we boarded our small bush plane to take us back to Georgetown.  The pilot steered the aircraft towards the river so we could get a good view of the falls.   As I was looking out, I realized the plane was flowing right along with the river, nearing closer and closer to the large single drop.  It was the best view you could get of Kaieteur.  We went with more speed, nearing to the end and our pilot free fell the plane so that we mimicked the rushing water cascading down below.  We all screamed and clapped with utter excitement.  It was AMAZING!  It was a wonderful end to our adventure and we really couldn’t have asked for a better experience.

I know I am going to miss my weekend adventures as well as my misadventures here.  I’m glad I waited until now to go to Kaieteur.  I think I appreciated it much more than if I had gone earlier.  Living here I have learned to appreciate the process of doing things much more.  The process can be frustrating, but I have improved my approach to things, it has made me find different types of solutions, and if all else fails, let go of things and see what happens.  An 8 hour bus ride now seems like nothing, sleeping 4 people in a bed is standard, making time to gaff with everyone along the way is a must, and of course every once in a while it’s okay to just free fall.  As I get ready to transition to a new part of my life, I’m sure there will be a lot of free falling.  There are going to be a lot of new, exciting adventures and I am thankful for the ones I have had here in Guyana that have shown me to sit back, relax, and really enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Long Overdue Re-Cap of Camp GLOW

I blinked.  I knew this would happen.  I blinked and now is has been three months since I wrote my last blog post.  Ever since I visited the U.S. in May I’ve been on the go here in Guyana.  It has been some kind of beautiful disaster.  I’ve found myself both scraping the barrel for the last bits of my own energy as well as dancing around in absolute elation. 
This year Camp GLOW was INTENSE.  It was like squeezing a tube of toothpaste and having it all come out at once.  All of my physical, mental, and whatever other capacities that encompass a body were put to the test; limited sleep, running from one place to the next, talking girls into feeling less homesick, getting people into the right session at the right time, emergencies, guest speakers, the list could go on.  Everything was so here and now you could barely think 10 seconds beyond your current moment.  We had 75 girls from every region of Guyana except one.  I personally trekked out on a bumpy 9 hour bus ride (one way) to go and collect a set of girls from a remote Amerindian village.  It was quite a journey.  Along the way back, several girls got sick and our bus wheel fell off and had to be tied on with rope to last the remaining hour and a half ride.  The girls I collected were extremely brave, some of them had never in their life been out of their remote village before, let alone on a long 9 hour mini bus ride with a broken wheel.  They were troopers and also probably cursing me under their breath in Padamona. 
Camp still had its magical flow.  The girls came in unsure, shy, and homesick.  They were uncertain of things and were very cautious.  Then everything took off.  We had arts and crafts, sessions on health, skits, guest speakers, sessions on slam poetry, modern dance, and creative writing.  We relieved stress by pelting a board with paintballs aimed at targets such “boys” or “money” or “school.”  We ran around attacking each other with shaving cream and water balloons, we ate ice cream, and sang camp songs.  You could see it in bright smiles and sparkling eyes, the girls were opening up.  They were laughing with each other, teaching each other dances, sharing their newly created poems and songs.  They even had the courage to share stories they had never told anybody else.  This is usually the hardest part for me.  That despite their beautiful smiles and laughter, camp might have been the one time they have ever truly felt safe or have had full stomachs or felt like they really mattered.  That despite things in their lives that no one their age should ever have to know, they still have the courage to remain standing and have hopes and dreams to pursue.  One girl said that camp gave her hope and the drive to push through some of the challenges that she was facing.  It was that same girl I almost gave up on.  I almost didn’t make the effort to really reach out and get her to camp.  Her statement completely rattled me.  As a Peace Corps volunteer, you don’t see a lot of big victories, but sometimes those small efforts you do make can mean a lot more than you think or ever will know. 
At the rate I’m going if I blink twice, everything will be over.  Things are just moving that quickly.  People are beginning to tell me my time is up jus' now and ask if I am ready to leave.  Six months is still a lot of time, but I don’t think I’ll ever be ready to leave.  The longer I’m here, the more things I could see myself doing or getting involved with.  Yes, trying to accomplish things can be frustrating or make you feel disenchanted.  But it is also challenging and rewarding and….I kind of love it.  Now here is the issue, you take the time to know a country, a culture, and people and are at a point where you could keep going and try to make a significant impact and then it’s time to leave.  It’s like breaking up with someone and having this knowledge about a person you will never use again in any other context.  All that time it took is gone and you could do a world of good if you just stayed where you are.   Maybe it is because I am reading Mountains Beyond Mountains but I have some inner conflict with knowing when to stay or leave.  Paul Farmer just picks Haiti and decides to stay there (there is more to it than that, but that is the gist).  Because he takes so much time to be immersed in the country he is able to have a huge impact on health there.  The crazy thing is he was younger than I am now when he made his decision to stay put.  I know I am not Paul Farmer, I will leave Guyana, not that I particularly want to, but because I know I need to go one step further before I feel adequately equipped to answer the question of staying.   Of course Paul Farmer traveled between Haiti and Boston while completing medical school, but I get the feeling he is kind of an over achiever.  ;-)            
September was a much quieter month .  I have been teaching, trying to start/finish my practicum, and applying to nursing school.  I get so distracted by all the possibilities of traveling, school, where I will live, jobs, etc. that I haven’t been super productive at moving towards any of these things.  If you are interested in traveling around South America (maybe Brazil, Bolivia, Peru) at the end of March/ early April, let me know.  I’d be happy to travel with someone, even if it is for a week.  :-) I am also on a potato / veggies and rice diet for a while because I am trying to save money to see Kaieteur Falls in October.  A bunch of us are going to do an overland hike, which I am REALLY excited about.  Alright, I think that is it for now.  Hope all is well and you all are looking forward to the crisp fall weather.  Send some cool thoughts down South, its been hot down here!
Much Love,

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Cooking..(not in Guyana this time)...Trinidadian Doubles!!

I have found people from all over the Caribbean in Guyana.  Many drivers here have flags in their cars from different Caribbean nations and I am proud to say I can identify most of them. I never knew there were so many Caribbean islands before coming to Guyana (see map below). 

 All of them have their own unique culture and food, but I also see some similarities as well.  One day I was in a car with a man from Trinidad.  He was telling me all about Trinidad and asked if I had eaten doubles yet.  I had no idea what a double was and told him no.  He didn't really explain it, but just said if I ever visited Trinidad I must have one.
View of Trinidad from the airport

Well I thought I would never get to taste one until I had an 8 hour lay over on my way home from the U.S in, you guessed it, Trinidad.  Luckily, I was able to exchange some money and leave the airport to eat at a little stand right outside.  BOY WERE THEY GOOD!  I had to get two! 

My delicious double at the airport

Bara- The roti looking part
1 lb flour
1 tsp saffron powder (tumeric)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp yeast
1/4 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups water
1 tbsp. oil
oil for frying

Channa - Chickpeas
2 cups channa, soaked overnight
10 cups water, for boiling
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. curry
1 tsp. saffron (tumeric)
1 tsp. geera (cumin)
1 tsp. masala
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1/2 onion, chopped finely
5 leaves chadon beni ( bandhania), chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste

 Make dough:
In small bowl, stir together water, sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 5 or 6 minutes.
In large bowl whisk together flour, salt, turmeric, cumin, and pepper. Stir in yeast mixture, then add additional warm water, if needed, until mixture comes together into slightly firm dough. Knead dough in bowl 2 minutes, then form into ball and cover with damp cloth. Let dough rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Make filling:
If using dried chickpeas, drain and add 6 cups fresh water. Simmer until tender, about 1 hour. Drain. If using canned chickpeas, drain and rinse well with cold water.
In heavy skillet over moderately high heat, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Mix in curry powder and sauté 30 seconds, then add 1/4 cup water.
Stir in chickpeas, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Add 1 cup water and cumin. Season with salt and pepper and bring to boil. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until chickpeas are very tender, approximately 20 minutes.
Punch down risen dough and allow to rest 10 minutes.
Dampen hands, pinch off walnut-size piece of dough, and flatten into 4 1/2-inch diameter circle. Set aside. Repeat with remaining dough.
In deep frying pan over moderately high heat, heat oil. Fry dough circles, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned, about 40 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels or on wire rack set over baking sheet.
Place 2 tablespoons filling on 1 piece fried dough. .

Daydreamin'- "I fell asleep beneath the flowers, on such a beautiful day.."

Beginning line up for sports day
Sometimes I wonder when we day dream if it is a way to reset our minds, to flush out everything inside for a minute and fill it with some sort of great desire.  Today I woke up straight day dreamin’.  I visualized how I was going to run and then actually went for a run.  I day dreamed about far off things, tried to get through the rest of my work-out but ended up laying on the floor day dreamin’ for almost an hour.  I decided to chop off a good bit of my hair and went into work.  Nothing much was going on except the looming excitement of sports day on Friday.  In Guyana, there is a whole month where schools are dedicated to sports.  They compete against one another and it’s a really big deal.  Not many schools actually have organized sports so it is an opportunity for the kids who like sports to really shine.  Some of the events for our sports day include late for work, where you have to get dressed in a sort of relay race, staff race, and more traditional 400 meter runs.  I seriously challenged a student of mine to a roti curry eating contest and I’m pretty stoked if I get to participate.  I can chow down some food like it is nobody’s business.
Showing off their cheers and banners
My co-worker and her son watching sport day
African Honey Bees that the "Beeman" removed from my school last year
LOVE this river view at sunset
I gaffed a bit more at work and headed out to meet a counselor for GLOW.  Of course, I had nothing at home for dinner so I stopped by my favorite baked good stand and ran into the Beeman who is one of my favorite guys in Guyana.  He is the NICEST person ever and sort of reminds me of Bubba Gump when he talks about shrimp, except talking about bees.  He told me once that Guyana has one of the largest varieties of bees in the world and many scientists come down to study them.  I happened to be biking towards where he lives, so we rode down together.  The GLOW counselor lives in a spot I’ve never been to before, but it was a quiet and seemed like a very neighbor oriented community.  A charming setting of an Indo community nestled right on the outskirts of a cane field.  The family was so nice and in true Guyanese fashion, offered me cashew fruit and drink and some sweeties.  We talked a little about camp and everyone was excited about it.  A little over a month to go!  I biked back home on the last tails of the sun and greeted other neighbors along the way.  I was smiling and just felt truly at peace.  It was one of those moments that you think “this is why I’m here, this is what it is all for.”   I mean everywhere you are, you have days like that, but this moment was unique to my life here in Guyana, the just sigh and soak it all in sort of thing.  My little neighbors came running to greet me and I had to stave them off a bit so I could get changed and wolf down the chicken sandwich I purchased earlier.  It was good, like everything they make, but it was the first time I had it.  Definitely hit the spot.  I realized I was out of toilet tissue so I had to ride down to Rasta man’s shop and along the way ended up walking my bike and gaffing with a neighbor.  I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but everyone has bbqs or fairs or weddings, or something.  I have been invited to several things already.   I was here last time this year and didn’t seem to notice all these things.  It is interesting what time will do.  Of course you can’t just sit idly, I’ve been striving to be considered “neighbor” for a long time now.  And ya know what?  I got it, at least by one person.   She said “you know, you’ve always been a good neighbor, always helping out when we need something and being there.”  I honestly couldn’t be more proud of that.  Part of the reason why today seemed to flow so harmoniously is because my present and future are intertwined with my community and I guess today I was feeling especially connected.

Walking out on the road in my village
  It is amazing how important that connection is to the key to your happiness and success here. 
I road back up to my house and the kids came running back down again.  We did some drawings and I was going to do some work on my computer, but my one little neighbors started reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory out loud.  I shut my computer and helped her sound out words or explained definitions.  So many of these kids I see here might not know how to read or write too well, but they also seem eager to know.  I wrote the word TIME on a sheet of paper and kept tracing it over again in different colors.  Sometimes you want it to speed up and sometimes there just never is enough of it. It is one of the most precious things we can measure out, divide, and make use of yet it remains quite the anomaly.  How does it pass so quickly?  How much do we have?  If only I had enough time to sit and read with each of these kids each night.  How amazing would they be at reading?  While it may never seem like enough, nothing can replace the time you do make for all the little or big things you do.  Maybe it was starting the end of my MPH or feeling particularly part of the community today, but for now I feel like I’m going at the right speed; content. Just  daydreamin’.  :-)

A bunch of us went to town to watch Guy25 (the newbies) swear in

My friend's picture I sent in of an Amerindian boy in Guyana made the front cover!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cooking in Guyana....Pepper Sauce!!!

If you like spicy things, you would fit in well in Guyana.  Many food items are made with the addition of a small little pepper called the Wiri Wiri, that packs quite the punch.

 "A jalapeño, which measures approximately 2,500 – 10,000 SHUs depending on its maturity or ripeness. Based on Scoville Heat Unit measurement the Wiri Wiri is a scorching 150,000 SHUs when mature – a whopping 15 times hotter than the ripest jalapeño."-According to

We were given pepper sauce the first full day we were in Guyana.  Of course, we didn't think too much of putting some hot sauce on our eggs so we dabbed a good bit on.  Boy were we mistaken!  Our mouths lit fire because this stuff is HOT!  After a good bit of time living in Guyana, I have grown accustom to pepper.  I put it on most of my food, but only in small amounts.  I thought it would be a great thing to bring back to my friends in the U.S. so I had my co-worker make a bunch for me and packed it up real well and prayed it made it back in one piece.  I warned my friends at home to be careful with the spiciness of the sauce and they cautiously gave it a try.  To my surprise many of them really liked it and were happy to have a whole jar to themself.  :-)

  • 2lbs wiri wiri pepper or scotch bonnet peppers (stems removed)
  • 1 green mango (unripe mango) or 2 large cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar
  1. Rinse peppers and remove all stems
  2. Add about 1 cup of peppers to a blender with a little mango or cucumber, a little bit of vinegar and garlic, blend until smooth. 
  3. Repeat process until all ingredients are used up and sauce is smooth and not watery (it should have a tomato/pasta sauce texture). 
  4. Store sauce in a mason jar.  

Recipe adapted from: