09 July 2009

Pig day and cooking complexity

Everyone had been looking forward to the Tuesday at Kande Beach, a day that had been officially designated as pig day. We bought a pig from the local village and had it slaughtered so that we could have a hog roast. After wiring the gutted but still warm porker to a spit we dug a fire pit and spent the next 10 hours cooking/drinking until it was ready.

Even if we say so ourselves, the results were quite spectacular. Little Percy went down very well indeed! Even Simon Harrison would have been proud of our results.

The following day was our nominated cook day. In pairs, everyone has to take it in turns to cook dinner for the other people on the truck. Cooking for 22 can be quite challenging at the best of times but when you have to cook over a charcoal powered jico stove it adds another dimension of difficulty.

Just to make things even more tricky you also have to provide a veggie option too. We decided to do a beef and a vegetable chili.

Shopping proved to be quite a challenge as we weren't sure of the quantities that are needed to feed 22. We ended up buying far too much stuff and probably cooked enough for 40. At least there was some left for seconds . . . and breakfast! Best of all it looks like we haven't managed to poison anyone.

Apart from cooking and eating we had hoped to be able to do some freshwater snorkelling whilst we were at Kande Beach. Lake Malawi is supposed to be one of the best freshwater dive sites in the world with over 500 species of fish, more than any other inland body of water. However, most of the time we were there it was quite windy which caused large waves to be whipped up on the shoreline making it too rough to get a boat out. If you swim out from the shore there is the risk of bilharzia, a minute worn that can penetrate your skin and migrate to to your bladder. From there it can cause anything from a rash to kidney failure. We decided to give it a miss.

The one thing that nobody was able to avoid at Kande Beach was the dodgy electrics. Something had gone seriously astray with the wiring on site which resulted in the destruction of 1 phone charger a couple of camera battery chargers and nearly everyone getting electrocuted in the shower.

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