Unexpected Dinner Guest

We had an expected dinner guest last week. The (bad) host-brother1, made a ruckus upon coming home one afternoon. I've largely ignored his antics, numbed from living with the host-family for the last five months or so. Besides, I was putting the final touches on a few documents in preparation to go to a Marrakech Festival; however, the host-family insisted I come to the stairwell to see what was going on. I was asked to bring my camera.

My thought, half whispering, to myself: "Oh great, another relative has stopped by for a visit and they want me to take pictures. I don't have time for this!"

OwlI left my work to see what was up and, to my surprise, it was not a visiting relative. The host-brother had brought home an owl. They wanted to know if it was ok to put it in the birdcage I bought a couple of weeks ago. Unless they can manipulate matter on a cosmic scale, that wasn't going to happen. The owl was much larger than the birdcage, almost twice as big; but who knows, maybe it's just the ruffled feathers and, once watered or calmed down, it would be no bigger than a sparrow. Caged or not, it was not going to be a pet for long. The host-family just wanted to keep it somewhere while they went to the swirka [daily outdoor market]. I left for the artisana at this point.

It does not take the cunning mind of Sherlock Holmes to figure out what happened next. Seeing owl feathers all over the roof-top, I realized that the owl had, indeed, become the dinner for that evening. We had owl tajine2 that night. If you did not know already, then I'll tell you that owl is gamey and does not taste like chicken at all.

Back to preparing promotional materials for the upcoming craft festival.

1. By bad, I mean the non-religious host-brother. I have two host-brothers: one is the icon of a koran-toting saint, while the other has tempted me with Meknes-grown wine.
2. I'm surprised we had cooked the owl because the host-family is very concerned about bird flu. When I first got here, we had chicken about five times a week, now host-mom cooks chicken about once a week. I can add owl tajine to the Peace Corps cook book.

tags: ..
another point of view ...

Blogger cory

how did your artisans do at the festival?

Blogger Nam LaMore

hey cory -- in a word: FANTASTIC! i've been back at my site for a week, but still haven't recovered from the festival. it was nice to catch up with some of the others (especially those of us in the deep south), but i think it would have been more entertaining if you had been there!

anyhow, i'm sorta back, but i have to go take some lame exam in rabat this weekend. i'll catch up with you shortly, promise. -- nl

Blogger hale

Hi -

OWL!! Too gamey for me!!

Just wanted to tell you that I am back blogging, albeit a bit slowly and sometimes a bit painfully. It is amazing what one can do with only one non-dominant hand on a keyboard!

So I'm inviting you to come visit with me at BlogginThe Maghreb


Blogger junoon

hey nam
it's been a mounth that you posted anything. i hope that everything is OK :-)

Blogger Peri

Hey stopping by, hope all is well.

Blogger Dutched Pinay on Expatriation

Reading the second paragraph when you mentioned that the host brother brought home an owl; I kind of figured its destiny - in the cooking pot. And I was right, lol.

Its the same thing in the Philippines I guess. Any bird caught wandering in the streets is seen as a possible meal!

Anonymous Anonymous

Hope you're doing ok! Your my lurking link to EH. The San Diego group appreciates your blogging efforts!

Blogger Mister Teacher

Now my only question for you -- did you put ketchup on the owl? Seeing as how ketchup makes EVERYTHING tastes better...

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