Saturday, August 18, 2007

Where's the beef: How I almost ate a whole cow...and am now at the dentist

I'm way the freak over here in Africa with no recourse to the internet as a general rule but today I got lucky so here's another tale from the bush -- no, I'm not referring to the Bush who stole the White House and is successfully using America's gullibility to turn himself into the world's first trillionaire. This time I'm talking about a geographical feature of Africa.

In any case, last Saturday I went to a village celebration wherein they slaughtered a cow -- and I bet I ate at least half of it. The meat was stringy but after having lived on eggs and toast for the last two weeks -- yes we have chickens running around in our yard -- I was all protein-deprived so the cow tasted totally fantastic as far as I was concerned.

Sorry I don't have a photo of the event but a good time was had by all. At least 50 people came to the feast and it was a total success. Us women cooked, did dishes and talked about weighty matters while the men got drunk on sorghum home-made beer and acted like brats. But we ignored them.

With no running water readily available in most houses in my village, the dishes here are done by heating a cauldron over an open fire, adding the dishes, throwing in some detergent (a lot of detergent) and then wiping the detergent off. At first I was horrified by this technique but after three weeks of still not being sick from germs or nothing, I figured "What the heck" -- Americans are just picky about sanitation. But I am here to tell you that NO American health inspector would ever grant a passing grade to the town's only restaurant without risking his or her job. BTW, it serves chicken, rice, beets, pumpkin, cabbage and grits on its fixed-price menu. And well worth the $2.25!

PS: I am now in the nearest market town, trying to get my tooth repaired after having chewed all that beef.