Friday, November 17, 2006

Thanksgiving preparations

This year I will be in a workshop in Tanzania on Thanksgiving, so we are having our turkey dinner tomorrow, on Saturday.

You may be surprised to hear that we can find turkey here in Malawi. And it’s frozen, imported, plastic-wrapped turkey. We will even be having gelatinous cranberry sauce from a can. It doesn’t get more authentically American.

A friend offered to bring me a live turkey from the town he lives in, where they roam around free. I can imagine the poor turkey sitting in the backseat of a Landrover, terrified, on its way to its execution. In my experience (of which I have plenty now) freshly-killed poultry is a bit too tough. And they make your whole house smell of burned hair, because the feathers sticking to the bird after plucking need to be burned off. Needless to say, I declined the offer.

One of the nice things about Malawi is that you can get just about everything you need. It can be quite expensive (our 10-pound turkey cost us almost $25) but you rarely feel deprived of anything major. I’d love a good fresh chevre, and a carnitas burrito (maybe not together) but overall, I can’t complain.

By the way, in preparation for our first official to-do, we are having the living and dining-room painted today. The paint cost $65 dollars, whereas the labor is only about $15. That’s typical here, where labor is so undervalued. Still, I guess I’m not complaining about that either.


Aunt Alanna said...

More than any other place you have written about, you seem to be quite comfortable there - a lovely home, housekeeper, some amenities, now a car, and signficant work. Are there communities you can't walk in? Do you always need a translator with you? How much do you work on site? How do you re-educate about AIDS?