Visit a Volunteer: I Yam What I Yam (Gizzada FEST)

IMG_2987 One thing that I love about Peace Corps Jamaica is that when time allows, you are encouraged to go to other volunteers' worksites to learn more about their organization. It isn't uncommon for volunteers who live close-by to team up and start secondary projects together. The possibility of collaboration keeps things exciting, and within our volunteer family we have so many resourceful people at our fingertips if simply tossing around ideas or needing feedback on a subject---just in my group we have people who have studied forestry, entomology, business...the list goes on! Even one's hobbies may be handy too, and to my surprise, my joy of baking called for a visit to Kara in Ulster Springs, Trelawny to practice the philosophy, "many hands make light work".

...and one need many hands when there is an order of over 500 gizzadas to be made!

I could write a post on what Kara's project, Cockpit Treats, is all about---but instead I am going to link you to her blog, where she goes into detail on her project, and the need for social enterprises in Jamaica. Click here to find all about Kara's project and read her blog! I realize that I haven't yet posted what MY project is---this will soon come! However, both of our projects work with rural women and are part of JN Foundation's Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI). The three year program is funded by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the "main goal is to facilitate and support the growth and development of social enterprises, presenting methodologies which will allow these entities to transform themselves into profitable businesses, able to sustain their social missions". (from the SEBI website)

So, three taxis later, I arrive in Ulster Springs ready to get my gizzada on! Gizzada is a Jamaican coconut pastry, but since Cockpit Treats are all about the yellow yam, the traditional recipe was spiced up by using yam flour!

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Add a dried cherry and they are ready to go! The ladies at Cockpit Treats are so lovely and I will definitely go back to help them out in the future. I already ran into them again at JN Foundation yesterday, where they had more yam gizzada, pudding, and YAM PIZZA!

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In conclusion, Cockpit Treats proves the yellow yam is versatile in recipes that Jamaica already loves. Also, if I had Kara's project, I'd gain a lot of weight.