Upon arriving in Jamaica I met with one of our PC nurses (PCMO) about how my inability to eat gluten will ultimately affect my stay here. Basically she scared me into tears. When I spoke with the nurse in the US, she told me Jamiaca is one of the few countries that allows glutards. When I arrived in Jamaica they told me that generally defer people with gluten allergies. The first few meals were nerve racking because I wasn’t sure if I would actually be able to eat anything since a lot of food is fried or just contains flour in some way or another. So far my experience has not been as difficult as the PCMO made it out to be.
Miss Tensie, our homestay coordinator, placed me with a family who can accommodate dietary needs. Miss Bailey was a bit confused about what gluten meant I just explained that I cannot eat flour and we were good to go.
Miss Bailey is great, to say the least. I am not her first volunteer and she wants me to learn. She has taught me how to fry ripe and green plantains, steam spinach, and most importantly cut toe nails off of chicken feet. She said that I need to know how to prepare chicken feet once I am living on my own. My question back to her was why would I eat chicken feet when there are so many other parts to the chicken? She just waved her dull knife at me. I was warned about dull knifes, but I can now confirm knives used in kitchens are not sharp.
The final result of the chicken feet was actually quite good. It was a mixture of carrot, yam, pumpkin, Irish potatoes, and…chicken feet. I asked her when she was moving in with me so I wouldn’t have to cook and I got another crooked smile with a dull knife wave.