Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wed, Aug 7: Obama Bread, Quinoa, and Cockroaches

Andrea: More settling in. Carpenters from the college came to build shelves in an odd little closet off the kitchen, which increased the house's storage capacity by about 600%. Eric and Emma are off to Lilongwe with Moses and Chemimwe, to look for items like a gas burner and an adapter for the fridge so that we can actually do something with food in our kitchen. 

Emma: Coming back from Joel's placement exam at Bishop Mackenzie International School today, we stopped at a bakery to get bread which looked marvelous on the advertisement outside. However, they had run out of bread and only had some very large rolls, and I mean large. We could get ten rolls for 500 kwacha, which is a pretty good price, about 16 cents per roll. (Joel: I'm the one who calculated that...) Chemimwe, who was driving us, told us that the rolls were called “Obama bread” but she didn't know why, and we gave her one bag of rolls. (Joel: She also said there is something called “bin Laden bread” but she didn't know why they were called that either. Beats me...)

Tonight I cooked quinoa for the Maliro family. (Electricity and water on at the same time – hooray!) Moses is doing some experiments with quinoa in hopes of learning how to grow it here, since it is such a nutritious grain. There are hopes it could help combat malnutrition if they can get people to use it, perhaps mixed into the daily nsima. Apparently some orphanage director is interested. Moses leaves Friday for an international quinoa convention in Washington State, and doesn't want to arrive and have to admit he's never actually eaten the stuff! So he sent over a kilo of quinoa from last year's field tests, which nobody here knew how to cook. The first few bites the Maliros were kind of skeptical – I think they expected it to taste like rice but it doesn't – but then they decided they liked it. At least they were polite enough to say they did, and take seconds!

Joel: When we came back from the Maliro's house, we discovered a cockroach on the wall of the kitchen. I think they conduct genetics experiments at this college, because this cockroach was TWO INCHES LONG!!! The antennae were another two inches. I guess roaches as big as mice are part of the “authentic African experience.” Mom took this opportunity to remind us to shake out our shoes before we put them on. (We killed it with Dad's new running shoe, since he wasn't home.)

Andrea: We didn't even find the cockroach until after we'd already spent an exciting time trying to figure out what was whizzing around our living room, catch it, and throw it out. Turns out it was a cricket, which apparently never got the memo that crickets are supposed to hop, not fly. (Joel: ???) But the cockroach was not hiding from the light either, like it's supposed to; it was just insolently hanging on the wall and then the cutting board, grooming its antennae, exhibiting complete disregard for the humans who were really wishing the light would have chased it back into whatever nasty hole it came out of, so we could try to pretend it wasn't there. (Joel: It was sitting there chewing its antenna, looking thoughtful. It was so funny-looking.)

1 comment:

  1. Wow that is huge! Joel did YOU kill it? I think I would have freaked out. You could keep the next one in a jar and call him Fred.