Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day 8: Last day in Oloosiyoi

Day 8: Ashley & Sammy
Our last day in Oloosiyoi, Sammy was granted a stay of execution.
Let me back up.
First, Sammy was gifted to us by the community as a big thank you for donating money to build schools and a water well, and also for coming to build their last classroom. Ashley named him, brought him back to camp with Wilson, and visited him every chance she got.

It became a horrible running joke and we had to LIE to her about Sammy, telling her that he was going home with Wilson's family to be their pet, and that his dad was coming to get him in the morning (he was to be slaughtered on site). Flo felt so terrible about it she decided to get a new goat at the market and have Sammy live with her and the staff at Bogani.

We spent the day building but we were rained out most of the time. Each time the rain started to stop we'd start building again. We managed to get up to the bottom of the windows and set the stones for those, which was good enough progress but we were all disappointed we didn't have enough time there to completely finish the classroom.

To pass the time in the rain, we were each called into classrooms to speak with students. Robyn and I played our hangman game, having them guess the word (THUNDERSTORM). Instead of having a man in a noose, I drew a giant lion and parts of him were erased with every wrong letter guessed.

Day 8: Dinner
Here is the second goat we ended up getting, not as meaty looking but just as good. Robyn, Bryan, Jim and I decided we'd watch it get killed, and we ended up doing this not that far from camp. I figured I eat enough meat and this is a rare chance I'd get to see it go from living to table.

Day 8: Wilson's favorite food #2 - goat blood
I took a lot of photos but I'll spare you. They stretched the goat out on the grass and it uttered a single cry. Then Wilson took out his machete and cut its throat. The blood started spilling out, a much brighter red than I thought and he started shouting "The cup! The cup! The cup!" We had frozen in our tracks so he reached out for the plastic mug he is holding above to collect the blood to drink. The goat was gurgling and spewing blood, and then they pulled its head back to finish it off.

Then Wilson stood up and took a few swigs of blood, offering each of us the cup and smiling with blood stained teeth. If he had insisted I would have tasted it but I think he knew not to. He and the other Maasai (I've forgotten his name) quickly skinned and took apart the goat, to be marinated for dinner.

I turned to Jim and said, "Well I guess I'm still a carnivore." High five!

After lunch on our way back to the school to continue building, we walked past the kill site, hoping Ashley wouldn't notice from her ride in the car. "OH MY GOD." Bryan had spotted the mug hanging on a tree branch, still dripping with bright red blood, a symbol of our treachery. We all cracked up over that one.

Day 8: Nyama choma
Here is the goat. We had to be careful not to say it was goat, instead calling it "Nyama Choma" which is Swahili for "BBQ," lest Ashley catch on. It's not Sammy but she would've been upset. I asked Flo what it was marinated in and she said light soy sauce, garlic and rosemary. That's it. I preferred the meat on the bones better than the skewers and had two helpings.

Day 8: Nyama choma
We also had some roasted potatoes with caramelized onions and some roast chicken. I later learned that the kidney and heart of the goat were shared among the staff, eaten raw as is customary.

Day 8: Sauteed cabbage
This is sauteed cabbage, often served in traditional Kenyan meals. It is eaten with ugali, pictured below.

Day 8: Farewell dinner
This is ugali, which is made from maize. It looks hard and stiff but it's actually soft and malleable. You tear off a small piece, make a hole with your thumb, and pick up some meat/cabbage in the hole, then pop the whole thing in your mouth.

Robyn Wiszowaty, Free the Children's Program Director, was with us for dinner along with two other team members. We were able to talk at depth with them about the situation in Kenya, future programs and also to ask our own questions. Sadly, no photos! She is a great speaker and told us a few stories from her life in the Mara (going on 10 years now).

Day 8: Thank you cake from the staff
This is a cake that the staff made for us our last night, with thick and slightly salty chocolate icing. It was served with what looked and tasted like thickened evaporated milk. So good because it was not too sweet.

Day 8: Cake is served
All of a sudden Wilson busted out with the "Cutta" song, which is a traditional cake cutting song. We were dying! Jim didn't know what to do because he was so disoriented by the clapping and singing. "Do I cut it?" "Cut it cut it!" "Okay I cut it!" "Keep cutting they're not going to stop until you finish cutting the cake." So poor Jim cut the entire cake, while the entire staff sang the Cutta song.

After cake, we sat around the table and had an iPod battle, Finn & I against Bryan, Rudi and Jim. Diplomatically, the judges called a tie but it was a lot of fun razzing and laughing at each other (and Jim sang us some Miley Cyrus as well).

It was bittersweet because despite all the fun we were having, knowing it was our last night in Oloosiyoi was always at the back of my mind. I can say without question that we all would've stayed another week there if we could, to finish the school and spend time with the community.

No comments: