Happy 25th Birthday!!!

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The celebration with my host family complete with a huge birthday banner.
The celebration with my host family complete with a huge birthday banner.

On the day of my birthday, a Wednesday, my entire office spent the day cooking an elaborate and delicious meal which we then enjoyed at the Fish Ponds, where I frequently help with aquaculture field work.

I learned how to kill, de-feather, chop and cook a chicken - this chicken!
I learned how to kill, de-feather, chop and cook a chicken – this chicken!
Cooking meal does not mean removing it from the bone, that is the task of the eater. And chicken's feet are a delicacy here and were included in my bday stew.
Cooking a chicken does not mean removing it from the bone, that is the task of the eater. And chicken’s feet are a delicacy here and were included in my bday stew. Notice the cell phones in the background. Free time here is spent playing games on phones. Filipinos may eat chicken’s feet, but some parts of life are not so different!
We seined these fish from our fish ponds. Then I learned how to gutt them. Fish are cooked whole, thus it is also the responsibility of the eater to separate meat from tiny fish bones.
We seined these fish from our fish ponds. Then I learned how to gutt them. Fish are cooked whole, thus it is also the responsibility of the eater to separate meat from tiny fish bones.
This was the freshest meal I have ever eaten: a chicken I killed, fish I caught and gutted, vegetables collected on site at our garden. The furthest items were from the local market, yet still grown within Odiongan.
This was the freshest meal I have ever eaten: a chicken I killed, fish I caught and gutted, vegetables collected on site at our garden. The furthest items were from the local market, yet still grown within Odiongan.
The Office Celebration!! (The second huge pot is full of rice, a meal is not a meal in the Philippines without rice - quite literally because a Filipino will instead regard it as a snack and be hungry for more food shortly after)
The Office Celebration!! (The second huge pot is full of rice, a meal is not a meal in the Philippines without rice – quite literally because a Filipino will instead regard it as a snack and be hungry for more food shortly after)
Finally, many thanks to my fellow PC Volunteers who decorated my room with fish and filled my bed with a balloon ocean.
Finally, many thanks to my fellow PC Volunteers who decorated my room with fish and filled my bed with a balloon ocean.
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5 thoughts on “Happy 25th Birthday!!!”

  1. Best birthday ever!! What thoughtful friends, family and colleagues you have there! I think it’s so special that you got to be that “connected” to your food for your birthday meal. Something that 99% of the population in North America is missing on a day-to-day basis. Other than this meal are you continuing to eat as a vegetarian while you are in the Philippines? Or with animals as healthy and organic and humanely treated as that chicken, are you not bothering?

  2. Oh hey, guess what!? I am going to Central America for 3 weeks in December! My mom is coming with me for 2 weeks of adventures in Guatemala and El Salvador…then I am continuing on my own for a week to do my advanced open water cert in the Bay Islands, Honduras!
    So stoked! I better start brushing up on my Spanish 🙂

  3. Still vegetarian, it is also a way to avoid the large chunks of animal fat that are also included in meat meals and considered delicious. Many times when I am introduced they say, “Meet Sarah. Our Peace Corps. She likes vegetables.”

    Wow that sounds absolutely amazing!!!! I cannot wait to hear about your random and exciting adventures while abroad. Dude, your dives are going to be incredible! And awesome you will have your advanced for when you come diving in the Philippines in the future!

    1. hahaha “she likes vegetables” – that’s golden!
      also – check Facebook when you get the chance – I put up some more pictures from our adventures last summer (haha, finally, I am such a bum when it comes to sharing pictures)

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