|On arrival at the campsite the previous night, an engine warning light appeared on the dash as we pulled into paradise. Why is there no pleasure without pain? Fresh from a morning swim and with a belly full of banana pancakes, Jason sat down for a bit of light reading. If you know Jason well you will know a book worm he is not. Hence the topic of his studies today was Fatboy's manual and what the warning light is trying to tell him. "Take your vehicle to the nearest Toyota dealership" the manual told Jason helpfully. French word. French word. "Stick your manual where the sun don't shine" geezer swore in disgust as he threw the manual aside and got under the bonnet of Fatboy.
As I crossed my fingers and took the kids to the beach for another swim, Jason tooled around on Fatboy for the rest of the morning. He cleaned out the air filter, checked the turbo, gave the alternator a once over then joined us on the beach still scratching his head.
Having nothing substantial to feed the watoto for dinner, we headed into Kigoma in search of fruit, veg and meat. Two hours later all I had managed to procure were five apples, a loaf of bread and some small cakes. Asking the shopkeeper if there was a supermarket in Kigoma, she threw her head back and laughed. I guess not. In most villages all over Africa, there will always be a market where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, rice and other staples. After driving up and down Kigoma for another hour, the market was still alluding us. Finally we stumbled upon it down a small alleyway and managed to get mangoes, banana, pineapple, carrots, capsicum, onion, tomatoes and potato. Still lacking was some sort of protein. The Horne kids subscribe to the meat and three veg philosophy at mealtimes with vigor. Though this was gradually changing as they became more adventurous (see the chip omelet entry) I was on a mission for meat. I spied some freezers in the Kigoma bakery and pounced. No meat but the most delicious cornetto ice cream which I handed to the hungry, moaning offspring. In return they wrote me little love letters, "Mum you are the best Mum in the world and this is the best ice-cream I have ever tasted". Nothing like going without for a few weeks to heighten one's appreciation. Out of desperation I asked in the bakery where I could get kuku (chicken) only to have the shopkeeper disappear out the back and return with a plump, juicy chicken. Road chicken this wasn't but a fine specimen of modern or pet chicken depending on which descriptor you prefer.
A complete meal in our pantry it was back to camp to build a fire and begin the arduous task of breaking this chicken into pieces. I am so useless at sectioning chicken that when I get a BBQ chook back home I always ask for it to be cut into eight to save me the hassle. I attacked the poor bird and managed to get six pieces which were not too massacred. While undertaking the task I was thinking why life skills such as sectioning a chicken are not taught in school. What good are Pythagorean theories or calculus for that matter when learning to build a fire, section a chicken or fillet a fish are far more useful life skills.
The carcass had far too much meat left on it to throw in the fire so I walked up the hill and found a villager who gladly accepted the donation. Nothing is wasted in Africa. I made some little foil parcels with chicken, soy, garlic and honey which we roasted on the fire. The smell of our BBQ brought a shy civet cat to a nearby tree where he watched with glowing green eyes. The chicken was delicious and accompanied with rice and a mango and capsicum salad, we ate by the mellow light of a kerosene lantern. The perfect end to a perfect day marred only by the slightly concerning dash light. Ah well tomorrow was another day. Hakuna matata.