07 March 2009

Patty's Day Prep Work

Being that the greatest holy day is just 10 days away, I have begun the preparations for the occasion.  Sadly, you cannot just go and buy the requisite corned beef at the grocery store.  So, emboldened by my growing cooking prowess, I looked up how to make corned beef from scratch.   This morning, after the Honey Drop of course, we bought 3kg of meat.  Using a combination of recipes from online and the ingredients available, I made a brine for the meat.  For the next nine days the beef will sit and in the bottom of our fridge.  The day before the day of all days, I will prepare a great feast of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes.  All washed down but a Guinness of course.  I hope it works out.  I was short on some ingredients and I have never done this before, but it will be interesting to see how it comes out.

Other than that, it has been an uneventful Saturday.  Father Paul and Jospphat have been reassigned to different parishes.  It is sad to see the two of them leave.  We will now have two new parish priests and two new landlords.  All the workers and animals will remain, so at least we have that comfort.  It would be terrible to see the ducks leave.  Jospphat came by to see Sue and I before he left and invited us to come and see him for a mass at his new parish.  He took my cell phone number and said he would call once he had settled into his new home.  We did not always see the two for long stretches, but they were more than accommodating and always willing to come by and say hello.  We introduced ourselves to Fr. Alfred and paid our months rent.  He said that he will be coming to see our work places this week to get acquainted with us and Malava.

At my favorite establishment, Michael and I had our mandazi's and chai while videos of the British boy band Westlife played on the tv.  We realized that kung fu is on every Saturday at 10am and it is called 'kung fu' on the tv listings.  The Honey Drop was not showing that program, but were were entertained at watching an inferior version of the Backstreet Boys.  There was even a nice duet with Mariah Carey and a cover of the Extreme song 'more than words.'

The afternoon came to a completion with chicken and chapatti at the petrol station.  We could not let our Friday ritual go by the wayside because of our yesterday.  Therefore, we pretended like it was Friday and enjoyed fried chicken.

William came by to say that he was given the full go to move back to Uganda.  He will be leaving in a week and a half and wanted to arrange to see us the night before he leaves.  He made sure that we knew that he would be expecting us in Uganda in August.  All we have to worry about is a little gas money, he will take care of all other accommodations.  If time permits, Michael and I plan on making a trip to see William.  He has been very kind to us and provided us with a Swahili teacher (his mother).  Plus, a free place to stay in another country is hard to pass up.

Keep an eye on the news for Kenya, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.  All three are in various states of dismay.  Sudan has a leader with an ICC warrant for his arrest.  Zimbabwe's Prime Minister was in a car accident which killed his wife and seriously injured him.  This comes shortly after being sworn into office after a long political stalemate between he and the President. 

Kenya is just below a simmer.  Bubbles are not there, but the pot is hot.  The coalition government is falling apart at the seams and the two leaders seem to be moving further and further apart.  In addition, a UN special reporter found that there have been numerous extra-judicial killings in the country by the police.  People still disappear and many are killed before questioned.  Despite this report, the head of the police is still in office and the radical Mungiki are back in action.  Protests broke out in the greater Nairobi area on Thursday.  Not much is holding this nation together and I fear that violence may return.  I cannot say that I am confident in the probability of making it in Kenya for the remainder of the year.  This is in no way a fear for my own safety.  I am not a target and should not be a target, but I do not have much confidence in the countries stability.