Sunday, August 15, 2010

Remembering Wolfenstein

Wolfenstein, in the foreground, was born in late February and he died today, August 15. We don't know the cause of death, but it appears to be some sort of poisoning. He was healthy last evening.

We called him Wolfenstein because he sort of a looked like a wolf when he was smaller. Fiercely independent, but also friendly. He'll be missed scampering around the compound. In the photo above, that's his sister, Sweetie, sitting behind him. She went to a good home last month.

Return to Baucau

Baucau - Timor-Leste's second city is a pleasure to visit -- it's much cooler than Dili because it sits on a hillside and has nice breezes. It's also easy to reach -- about 2 and-a-half hours east of Dili along a fairly decent road.

At one point, it climbs over a small mountain -- the narrow road -- carved out off the ocean-side cliffs. It can be a bit tricky when a big truck is barreling down the road in the opposite direction -- particularly on a sharp, narrow curve.

Baucau, itself, has nice accommodations and quiet beaches.

Chicken Feathers - Burned

I can still smell the chicken feathers burning over the fire -- a smell similar to singed hair.

One of the ways of roasting chicken in Timor-Leste is to first wring the chickens' neck, then dangle the bird over the flames while holding the feet. The burning feathers create a large flame-out and a crackling sound. Within a minute or two most of the feathers have been burned off and the rest can be plucked out -- rather easily -- according to my Timorese colleagues.
Once the bird has been plucked -- it is roasted over the open fire.

I witnessed this technique in Maubisse -- about three hours due south of Dili, the capital.
This wasn't a special ceremony. It was just a Saturday night barbeque -- it was some of the freshest chicken meat I had ever tasted. Yet -- the smell of singed chicken feathers isn't likely to fade away for a while.