Saturday, October 1, 2011
Campbell’s Cream of Goat Face Soup (Now Heart Healthy with Less Sodium!)
Turns out: finding an eyeball was easier than even I expected. I asked our lab guy, Jarso, on Monday if there was a local place I could get an eye (I figured that trying to get one over the weekend and then attempting to keep it fresh for four days would be a futile effort). He said he would take care of it. Tuesday, he went to town and picked up an entire goat head for only 250 shillings (that’s less than three bucks). I was really surprised at the price but he was upset because it was expensive. I guess that before the ridiculous increase in food prices around here you could get a goat head for 60 bob (67 cents). I was a little perturbed and strangely exited to attempt to remove the eyeballs myself, what with them being all attached to skill and muscle and brain. But Jarso said that the teachers would remove the eyeballs for me that night so they could use the rest of the head for ‘soup’. I put soup in parentheses because while it is technically and by definition ‘soup’, it is nothing you would see with a Campbell’s label on and probably most people wouldn’t want to drink. I’ve had ‘soup’ quite a number of times. I don’t mind the taste, the cook usually adds enough salt to make it taste like ocean water, but it always has a strange animal-y taste. And the chewable skin of not-quite-liquid fat on top is always off putting. I do my best to not think about what it is. It is, simply, the entire head of a goat, boiled in salt water. That means, once the bones are clean, that what you are eating in mostly dissolved goat brain. This is the stuff the Kenyans say will give you children and if you drink two cups, you’ll get twins. This time, I did not take soup. I went to the lab on Wednesday to check on my eyeballs and saw they were sitting in a beaker already starting to go off. To preserve them, I filled the beaker with alcohol and noticed a few baby maggots float to the top. After one day! As I was doing this, Jarso and I were chatting about soup. I was declining his offer to share. He said the teachers hadn’t eaten the soup yet, they were waiting until this evening. If my eyeballs already had maggots, I could not imagine the skull full of brains could be much better so I said I would pass on the soup saying that it was too salty. Jarso said that the salt was optional, if I wanted to still partake. I can only think of one way to make over-salted, two day old, goat face, bone and brain water less appetizing and that is to remove the salt so the other tastes can take over. I said no thank you. I was made dorm mistress this week. That means I am now in charge of all the students in the dorm. I have a Dorm Prefect (just like Harry Potter!) to tell me all the issues and then I decide how to fix them. It seemed like a pretty easy job. On my very first day I went to the meeting with all the students and told them the new rules and what was what. It took five minutes and I walked away satisfied. On my second day I had a meeting with the Asst. Dorm Prefect who told me the following problems: girls not making their beds, not listening to the prefects, noisemaking at night, talking in mother tongue, not cleaning properly, lighting one girl’s shoes on fire, leaving beds at night, stealing innerwears (I’m still not quite sure what an innerwear is), girls sticking their used pads to the windows, the used pad bucket not being emptied, the used pad bucket being stolen (?!), the bathing room being flooded because of girls disposing of used pads in there and clogging the drains, girls using the bathing room to urinate causing it to smell and making other girls refuse to clean it. That was all on the second day, which fortunately was Friday so I have the weekend to figure out how to fix everything. Is it just my perspective or does my life get more glamorous every day? I have always wondered what it would be like to get caught in the center of one of those cool dustornadoes. Would it pick me up Twister style? When I was a little girl living in Arizona we had them and someone told me that you would get taken up a few feet and hover. I, of course, believed them and have ever since wanted to try it. Well, yesterday I unintentionally did it. I was walking home from school up this rocky hill when I heard the loud roaring woosh over the sound of my ipod. I looked up and saw this big dust funnel a few feet away. I thought about jumping out of the way but the boulders surrounding me would have tripped me. I closed my eyes, turned my head away and let the twister take me. And no, you don’t get to hover a few feet above the ground while staring up through the swirling dust to the heavens. You stand there eating dirt and getting pelted in the face with sticks and small rocks. Stupid, no fun dustornadoes. On the plus side, the dustornado startled a large herd of goats and I got to see a stampede. It was pretty amusing to see them running full out through the village as people jumped out of the way and a group of men, women, and children chased them down.