Friday, 7 October 2011

A welcome meal

So finally Gemma, my new housemate has arrived. Her journey from Accra took 3 weeks and involved stopovers in Tamale and Bolgatanga for a conference and motorbike training. The office staff have joined me in anticipating her safe arrival for some time. Madam Director asked me if I "took" yam to which I replied "yes" enthusiastically.(The nearest thing to potato) She then offered to send me a guinea fowl and yam as a welcoming gift for Gemma. I'm getting used to life here and thought I had better check how the guinea fowl would arrive. "Will it be dead?", I asked pathetically. "You cannot prepare it?" she enquired. She quickly agreed to send a labourer round to deal with it. At various times throughout the night, I envisaged a slaughter on the doorstep; needing to pluck it myself; managing the head and claws; all the innards etc and wondering how grateful I was for this gift. I wondered at which stage I would photograph the proceedings.

The following morning, Willie arrived at the door with a frozen prepared bird that could have come straight from Tescos! I was almost disappointed, though quietly relieved. We rather overcooked it on Wednesday night but it was an interesting taste and the gift a generous thought from the boss. I decided a photo of the frozen fowl would hardly excite anyone.

Green vegetables are a luxury in these parts and pumpkin leaves are a good substitute for spinach. Surprisingly, the pumpkins are not as highly prized as their leaves. Shame when they grow such beautiful specimens. Clearly, Halloween celebrations have not reached these parts yet. The leaves made a good accompaniment for the welcome meal though.

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