Sunday, September 18, 2011

Trying Some Traditional Foods

Hoe lyk dit!
[slang for what’s up, sounds like ‘who licked it’ which is kind of weird]

Yesterday was cultural food day for all the trainees! We arrived at the center at around 7:45 am, and got to cooking for the rest of the morning. Different stations were set up around the outside of the center, each for the people from the different regions to cook their traditional cuisine. It was a really fun morning of just hanging out with trainees, trainers, host families, and the PC Namibia Country Director. By 9 everyone was getting pretty hungry, so we got a chance to try the mopane worms, a specialty from Owamboland. I have to say, they weren’t bad – the texture was kind of weird [a little gritty], but if its possible to get over the fact that they are worms, they aren’t horrible. Unfortunately, the fat cakes were being fiercely guarded from everyone until official lunchtime. Four live chickens were brought outside, and a few of the trainees chose to kill them. 

hope the video works! this is round one of the chickens that tried to get away, but moved a little too slow. they were tasty!

At around 1 all the tables were set up and we were ready to eat! We went down two long rows of tables and took samples from every region. I am happy to report that among what I ate includes cow stomach, something related to goat face?, an assortment of mystery meat, sour milk, and another kind of drink that I don’t know how to describe except for it tastes like yeast…

Now I'll describe Smiley! One of the few things I remember from the haze of the first day here is our country director referring to this mysterious smiley character at least 5 times. The mystery was unveiled at Hero’s Day, but all the trainees enjoyed it yesterday. “Smiley” is in  fact a goat head. Here in Namibia all parts of the goat are enjoyed, which is nice since none is wasted I suppose. Many consider the parts of the head to be the best part – Aunty Martha, my Afrikaans trainer, thinks the ears are just “baie lekker” aka very nice! The reason that the head is called smiley is that when they cook it, the lips of the goat curl upwards in the shape of a smile… yep its creepy, but I think I did manage to avoid eating the eyeballs yesterday, I just stuck with the face. All in all, it was a really fun day, though the intense variety of food was slightly overwhelming!

 looks kind of smiley actually...
 mmmm mopane worms - taste like chicken!

I’ll leave you with a sentence my class found amusing the other day – how are words this long?!?!?

Ek vil ‘n grondboontjiebotter en confyt toobroodjie
Translation: I want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Doesn’t look so much like English anymore!

Ps. I find out my permanent site placement in less than 12 hours…. The suspense is killing me!!!

1 comment:

  1. mmm mopane worms. my roommates and i used to eat these ever friday evening with some windhoek lager. can't wait to hear about your placement!!!