A chronicle of Alison and Ron's trip around the world in 2009-2010.

"Not all those who wander are lost"
- Tolkien

Friday, September 18, 2009

No Last Words for the Rooster

It’s our last day in Kokrobite so our local friend Mike planned a dinner and bonfire for our departure. If we paid for the dinner supplies and wood, then he would cook up a feast and even haul all the wood out to the beach, which he did all morning long while we slept in, lazed around and drank coffee.

For dinner, we decided on the defacto standard Ghanaian dish of grilled chicken and jollof rice, with the live chicken supplied from a woman’s coop a few houses down. It was bound to be the freshest bird we ever ate.

Mike’s landlord was hired (for around $3) to kill and clean the chicken while we stood in awe and finally understood the idiom “running around like a chicken with its head cut off”. I was less traumatized than I thought I would be, unlike the Great Chicken Kill of 1980 when my grandma from Oklahoma came and killed all my pet-chickens and cooked them up for Thanksgiving dinner.

We captured the entire scene on video replete with the gory details of the bloody jerking neck pipe that seemed to still be breathing as the wings flapped madly in final death throes. Watch at your own risk, especially for all of our vegetarian friends who will agree, what a cruel, medieval practice it is of big critters eating little critters. It certainly made us think twice, never really knowing what took place before it was a perfectly plump vacuum packed butterball in the grocery store window. But we couldn’t exactly turn down dinner now, could we? At some point, you are past the point of no return.

It was getting dark while the chicken smoked on the grill and the boys sipped Mandingo, a noxious red liquor that looks and tastes like cheap cough syrup with the rampant rumor that the MAN in Mandingo gives you energy like Viagra. Sorry folks, I can’t deny or confirm this rumor, my lips are sealed. Finally it was too dark too see so we bribed an electrician (another $3) to come fix Mike’s lights which turned out to be a single bare blue-hued bulb inside that offered us little help. Ron donned his super cool headlamp to finish cooking up the jollof rice. Dinner was certainly fresh, I could say that, but the bird was a tough and chewy, the rice a tad undercooked, which was disappointing given all the hours of painstaking preparation.

A little boy from next door came over to watch our activities. Timid at first, we won him over after a couple hours, giving him butterscotch candy and rides on Ron’s shoulders.

We headed back to Milly’s to catch the end of another Saturday night drum performance, and then out to the beach to start the bonfire. We brought the coconuts from Salomey that were a big hit and gone in less than 60 seconds. So fast, neither of us got one! Nevertheless, we were perfectly content, relaxing by the fire, listening to the impromptu drumming and singing carried off by the ocean breeze. I filled a shot of Mandingo for each of the drummers, kind enough to drag out their drums so we could have music.

The night was only spoiled by those asking for more booze or donations or whatever they thought they can get since someone else is paying. I think we did make a couple real friends during our stay at Kokrobite (out of several dozen hanger-ons) despite the fact we were giant walking-talking dollar signs to most everyone we encountered. The fire died down with the droopiness of our eyelids and we retired for the last night in our little hut by the beach.


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