Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Being "African"



I was out with friends and it was an informal gathering, so of course we were all free to tease each other. We jumped from one topic to the other, and the banter just went on. We were on the topic of food and milk came up, I mentioned that I hadn’t had milk in a while.

 In response to all the whys, “I am lactose intolerant and I have irritable bowel syndrome”. I got such an incredulous stare from some of the people I was having a chat with. What do you stand for or who are you really, some stares seemed to say. Then there was a barrage of comments and questions. “I thought that was only for white people?” “With you, I only hear sicknesses that I hear on TV.” “And it’s not just her but in her family, some people are allergic to sea food, nuts and other things.” “What kind of food do you eat apart from all these oyibo dishes?” “You do not eat enough, you don’t eat pepper, you eat all these salads and vegetables.” “You are too punctual and exercise too much when you are not even fat!”

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Health is wealth



I woke up fine but at some point, I started to feel funny. I dismissed it at first but it all seemed to go downhill from there. I started this new work out so I thought that my body was simply adjusting to that. I was hungry and had started work without breakfast which I do very often. I went back to get myself something to eat then continued work but my whole body was revolting. I had a light headache, I was slightly dizzy, my tummy was in a state I could not describe, I felt cold but hot at the same time then my temperature had gone up. I spoke at this point, I told the residence manager that I didn’t feel well. I asked for a home malaria test kit and took the test, it came out negative. That was a relief as I had way too much work planned for the week to fall ill. I was meant to travel the next day.

I knew getting to a good hospital would be in the capital so I was slightly worried. She asked what my symptoms were, when I explained, she knew just what I needed. The first thing she said was ‘your flat mate had the same not long after he came here’. I asked her what she meant, then she explained that she thought my body was still adapting to the environment and that must have been the explanation for all these things that I could not explain. She advised that I get vitamin C effervescent. At this point, I could have ignored her advice but I followed. One of the things I know is, you cannot take the knowledge the locals have away from them. 

Monday, 5 September 2016

Bumpiness all the way with this trip continued...



If you missed the first part, please read it here 

This was what the room looked like. I find the best in every situation, so here, there was clean water. It wasn’t brown but clear and that was amazing to me, given the circumstances. There was no phone network in the two villages where we would be working, but there was constant light. I hardly used it but it was comforting to know. 

The room consisted of a bed, a table and a chair

Friday, 2 September 2016

Groundut soup/sauce

I have always liked this soup/sauce but I don't enjoy it when it is prepared in certain ways, with okro for example. I have made this before but decided to try it again. I read a few methods of preparation and got some ideas of how I wanted to make it.

Ingredients:
- chicken (I had four pieces)
- 3 onions
- garlic
- 5 tomatoes
- 1 pepper
- seasoning cubes
- salt
- groundnut paste
- palm oil/groundnut oil/vegetable oil
- crayfish
- a pinch of curry
- carrots
- green bell pepper