Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy Independence Day, Malawi-Style

I had my first American holiday here in Malawi. On July 4th we celebrated with a cross-cultural cooking demo here in the village between the American Peace Corps Trainees and our Malawian Trainers and host mothers. We each prepared locally available foods according to our cultures. So us PCTs made guacamole (they grow avocados here, and they are HUGE), mashed potatoes, potato curry, veggie kabobs, fruit salad (they grow bananas here too) and chocolate cake (the cocoa was imported, but it is chocolate so it is okay). The Malawians prepared potatoes in several different ways, including a potato salad with peas that was really good, pumpkin leaves with sinjiro (ground peanut flour), African bread (similar to  cornbread) and lots more. Everything was cooked over an open fire, even the cake (you put the lid on the pot and then put some smoldering sticks on top so it cooks evenly).

The amayis (host mothers) were amazing and even the food we cooked was only possible because of their help. They helped us start our fires, find kindling, and always seemed to know what we needed before we did, whether it was fresh water or a potato peeler. It is like an amayi superpower. So thanks to all the amayis for the delicious food!

Also part of the festivities-- four PCTs slaughtered chickens for the meal. Those chickens ended up on the grill, which was manned by Americans and Malawians. You can see that there are chicken intestines wrapped around chicken feet on the grill. There is also a head too. And no, I didn't try any of that.

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