Monday, February 6, 2012

Dov’è la festa?

Thanks ACMC!
This week was kind of a holiday week. My mom’s coworkers at her hospital asked if the kids on my homestead would like some presents. These kids work really hard and are appreciative of the littlest of gestures. The gifts were supposed to be for Christmas, then New Years, and eventually became Black History month gifts on February 1st. The gifts took a long time to get to Swaziland, and it took even longer for me to figure out how to get the heavy boxes to my homestead. Finally they arrived and we had a little celebration in my house. ACMC Pre-Admission Testing Staff did great making the boxes and the kids were so awesome examining every little thing in their boxes of age-appropriate, glittery, battery-powered, possibly educational, Made-in-China awesomeness. I also enjoyed teaching them how to use Pez dispensers and silly putty. And of course glowsticks. Those were enigmatic at first, just little plastic sticks. Once it got dark, we cracked them and they went nuts playing, forgetting to even eat dinner. It looked like a huge rave party had taken place, seemingly even brighter by the fact the nearest other lights were on the Maputo skyline 60 miles away.
 Yesterday, I had to make good on a promise I made back during Christmastime that I would cook for the family “American food”. Being an Italian-American, nothing seemed more appropriate than some good ol’ pasta and sauce. My good friend Ruby visited and being a very good cook and gardener, she contributed some kitchen know-how and fresh basil and oregano. Swazis do not widely use herbs but Make insists I grow some now.  We cooked over an open fire, which took a long time, but the slowness probably improved the sauce. I have never had to cook for such a big family before, or use a cauldron, or cook inside a little kitchen which may have given me Black Lung, but it turned out delizioso, and Grandma Rosa would have been very proud .
cooking up a storm

Random Swazi Thought of the Week: My bhuti is a traditional healer, and several months ago I had my “bones read” which is similar to a palm reading, but focusing on your ancestors. Apparently this same Grandma Rosa was pissed at me for not telling her grave I was going to Africa and she hasn’t been able to find me. Hopefully this Sunday Supper made up for it :).

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