Sunday, August 19, 2007

A traditional Botswana dinner

We were hoping to go to Mokogolodi game park today for a game ride, but it turns out they were all booked. So it was a pretty chill day, which was nice for a change. And to my surprise after the night before, I actually didn’t feel too sick when I woke up. I thought I was going to get a raging cold, with maybe fever and chills, maybe GI symptoms like other people had. But it was mostly a super sore throat with congestion. I stayed in my PJ’s until noon, and then threw a Frisbee around with Lisa and Kristy for about half an hour. Then I took a 2-second dip in the pool at the apartment complex – it was freezing! I guess the nights are still pretty cold here and the pool doesn’t have enough sun or time during the day to gather any warmth. But laying out in the sun felt pretty good. I also managed to set up my blog for the first time, and took a nice nap.

For dinner, we went to the house that Dr. Gluckman and Dr. Nathans are staying at (Malek house) where they cooked us a traditional Botswana dinner. It was soooo good. We had chakalaka, which is actually a vegetable stew dish with all sorts of different Botswana spices. You can buy it in a can, and it's still really really good - you can dress it up some, add some stuff to it, and it can also come with beans added, or other things, and it’s just really good. We also had this thing called sampa, which is a starchy corn dish that you eat with all the flavorful stuff. Also on the menu were beets, salad, veggie skewers and of course, the barbecued meat. The meats here are amazing! I especially like the sausage here, but they also made barbecued chicken wings with a special sauce, and beef skewers. They just have so many different types of meat in Botswana - beef, chicken, fish, ox, goat, livers, and other types that I can't really think of right now, and they cook them all so many different ways! I wish I knew what spices went into these dishes so that I could replicate them when I get back to the states.

So at the dinner, I ate until I was stuffed! Man, I thought I would be eating less here in Botswana, which turned out to be true the first few days, but now I'm eating even more! It's a problem. But not one I'm super upset about. The thing is that lunches here are so cheap and huge and chock full of meat. You can go to the cafeteria and buy this huge lunch for the equivalent of $3 or you can go outside to these ladies with pots of food on tables and buy similar food to what's in the cafeteria for the equivalent of $2. And it's all meat laden (although you can just get vegetarian if you want - and the veggies and salad are amazingly good too), and huge portions. I always eat it all too, it's just soooo good. I usually eat such a huge lunch that I'm not very hungry for dinner, but that's good - I don't need to be eating a big dinner when I have such a large lunch.

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