Jennifer Williams

is a former Peace Corps Volunteer. She now lives with her husband and daughter in Ohio.

À la Carte Would you like some questions with your meal?

All I wanted to do was cook some pasta.

If I wanted only rice, I would have stayed home, the concrete walls of my bungalow guarding me from the stifling heat of midday. But I was tired of eating rice.

Instead I took out my yellow Peace Corps issue bicycle and pedaled up the hill and around the bend into town, to the market, to buy tomatoes, onion, garlic, and spaghetti.

Laboring to pedal uphill, I passed women frying plantains and bean cakes along the roadside. The smell of hot oil mingled with the sharper, more pungent odors of salt and chili peppers, sweat, livestock, and sour water.

Nonsara! Nonsara!” …

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