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the Hinterland (plus Chili-Bowl 2KX)

hinterland |ˈhintərˌland| (also hinterlands)
noun
the often uncharted areas beyond a coastal district or a river's banks
• an area surrounding a town or port and served by it 
• the remote areas of a region : the mountain hinterland.
• figurative an area lying beyond what is visible or known : in the hinterland of his mind these things rose, dark and ominous.

What is it about we, modern man, that makes us so curious about the hinterland-backcountry, the boonies?  Somewhere, deep down, we imagine such romance and intrigue awaits us in these places off the beaten path.  Is it man’s cry to re-connect with nature?  It is man wanting to be tested, to test ourselves out in the wild of nature?

I’m reading this book right now called Dark Star Safari, by Paul Theroux (travel writer & RPCV), and Theroux uses this word “hinterland” quite a few times.  It’s an interesting idea, to traverse a continent from one side to the other, especially on public transportation and with as many stops and side-trips as you’d like.  I’m learning so much from his interactions with Egyptians and their perceived identities, in connection with their neighbors, the Nubians of Sudan.  This is a part of the world where I know nothing of their culture(s) besides maybe some near-eastern sculpture and art technique.  I wonder if I would make an okay travel writer; if I might do the places and people justice.  Justice–that’s another interesting word.
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CHILI-BOWL 2KX: Clash of the Delicious
Some of the Portland crew came up to our little slice of the hinterland this weekend to celebrate Superbowl weekend, Peace Corps-Jamaica style.  We couldn’t actually watch the game, which most of us would’ve been pretty excited to do this year.  So instead, we watched The Longest Yard and old Superbowl commercials, cooked so much superbowl-esque food, and drank the: new official cocktail of the ChiliBowl in Portland, Jamaica (see White Russian, and substitute with Jamaican-made stuff).
Here’s the general recipe–
The White Jamaican
1 part white rum (overproof)
1 part Blue Mountain coffee
1 part Serge Milk
fill with Sangster’s Rum Creme and ice.

It’s lovely.

Foods that I’ll still be polishing off (all by myself) all this coming week: Rob’s Scotchbonnet Chili Suprise, Jess’ & Annie’s Orgasmic Bean & Corn dip with homemade Tortilla Chips, Hunter-style Buffalo Chicken Dip w. crackers.  We had rare commodities like Ruffles chips, sour cream, Fritos and black beans! These Portlanders know how to cook, man! We also made brownies and pancakes…it was a good weekend for eating.  We swam in the Rio Grande, played CatchPhrase (Jess F. is a genius at guessing–little known secret)…and Truth or Dare, defended ourselves from Goob’s fanged attacks and contemplated whether maybe the U.S. should consolidate Thanksgiving and Superbowl weekend into one holiday, for consistency.  No spin the bottle or Twister this time–maybe next party…which is scheduled for:

Friday, March 5th at Double Barrell HQ (which is Garth’s shop) in Comfort Castle. This is Josh’s 28th birthday (well on March 4) and it’s first hosting of a community road party.  Limited room available, but all Josh-supporters welcomed. You’ve already seen the party poster.

We had a good time and must send bigops to Shannon and Rob’s parents for sending us updates on the game–can’t believe how quickly the Saints came back in the 4th quarter! No worries, Peyton.  Your time’s coming.

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