Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Making Dinner for my Botswana Family

I have really enjoyed getting to know Kagi's family. They are really sweet and great -- I'm sure in the future there will be lots more to share.

Last week, on my 5th day in Bots, Kagi thought it would be a good opportunity for us to make dinner for the family. His favorite is Honey Baked Chicken and figured they'd love it too. We determined that there would be 12 people there, and set to work in the early afternoon. I prepped 6 cups (dry) of rice, which I expected would be sufficient for the group (each person would have a full cup to eat), and made 13 pieces of chicken in the luxurious buttery, honey, curry sauce. We also made a large pot of butternut squash and some cookies.

Kagi asked everyone to be available at 5:30. A little later he told them 5. We were going to have it at Grandma's house because of the table there, but then when it neared 5 we decided to change it to his mom's house when we realized that there would be numerous unexpected guests at Grandma's house (particularly because she kept inviting people:-)) and we hadn't prepared enough food for them. He suspected we might actually eat around 6:30 or 7.

At 6:30 when we went to pick up the table from Grandma's house, a discussion ensued resulting in the decision to have the dinner at Grandma's after all. We went back to his mom's to finish and bring the food. By this time, I was panicking because I wasn't sure that there was enough rice. I forgot that, although Americans use rice as more of a side dish, most of the world fills their plates with rice and puts other things on the side. This is certainly true in Botswana. OOPS! I was praying that God would miraculously expand the amount of rice, and that there would be enough chicken to go around.

At 8 we had all 12 family members around the table with the food (amazingly) still hot. Although no one said much during the meal the rice did miraculously seem sufficient and I have heard since that they really liked the food. I was SO relieved and thankful.

After the meal, in order to thank me, all the ladies sang me a beautiful song English and then a few more songs in Setswana. I'd love to upload a video of it, but am having trouble doing it right now. It was a really nice evening-- full of cultural lessons I'm glad I was prepared for!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Off to Africa

I am headed to Sub-Saharan Africa for the first time today! I am scheduled to fly to Johannesburg where I'll meet up with Kagi and then travel by bus to Gabarone, Botswana.

Kagi and another friend Patricia have told me that I MUST bring warm clothing because it is winter and cold. Apparently people tend to not bring clothing for cold weather since it's Africa and everything.

Because of their advice, I am bringing some warm clothing. But this morning when I searched the weather for Gaborone I found this:

In case you can't see, the weather is expected to be in the 80s (degrees F) all week and very sunny.
Needless to say, I understand why people don't bring winter clothing. Even so, I'm going to trust my Botswana friends, and will have to let you know how it goes.