Monday, November 19, 2012

Ersatz Thanksgiving

Yesterday, Njabulo and I gave our unconventional thanks – on Sunday instead of Thursday, without turkey, and minus the cranberry sauce shaped like the can and green bean casserole. Instead, we feasted on slow roasted chicken legs with gravy, apple-herb dressing, and steamed green beans. Traditional? Kind of. Delicious? Absolutely! We didn't have dessert, because I forgot to buy a pie tin while we were in our shopping town, but next weekend we'll enjoy a butternut squash pie. Gotta have something to look forward to, right?

On Turkey Day proper, we're meeting fellow volunteers for Ethiopian food in Naas. Perhaps it'll become the new tradition here in Peace Corps SA! We'll definitely be thinking of everyone back home (Maple Leafers, enjoy the interdenominational service for me, it's one of my favorites!) and giving thanks for what we have, which is scads more than what the folks around us here have.

For your viewing pleasure, I present a photo of our pre-roasted legs, liberally rubbed under the skin with sage and thyme butter and nestled on a bed of aromatics, which flavored the gravy. The following photo shows our delicious apple herb bread dressing, made with leftover homemade French bread, onions, celery, apples, thyme, and sage, and the glorious roasted legs after a high heat blast to crisp the skin. Lastly, there's Njabulo ready to dig in, and my plate of food after being drenched with velvety gravy!

Happy Thanksgiving!

When I took the dinner photos off the camera, there were some miscellaneous photos I'll add to this post. The first two are of a lovely little mosque we ran across in our shopping town. There are a lot of Pakistanis and Indians in South Africa, and even out in the very rural areas you'll find mosques in the villages. 

Next is a photo of our school. I hope to do a post about our school soon, but that might not happen until we start teaching in January. Right now, for us at least, nothing much is going on (hence my regular Facebook presence ;)). The learners (we call them students) that are writing (we call it taking) tests come to school, write their test(s), and leave. The grade 12s, who have been living at the school for weeks, study and take their matric exams (needed to graduate, or here, matriculate) and the teachers all focus their efforts on invigilating (we call it proctoring), moderating, and grading tests. No teaching – even though I wrote lessons and attempted to deliver them. I have graded plenty of exams, however, which has been eye opening – we're going to be spending a lot of time remediating English!

Finally, we have the rest of the game drive photos, thanks to our fantastic game drive guide, Elsa! She put them all on a CD for us, we just need to edit them and, since there are many, wait until we have free wifi at in-service training (IST) to upload them. Speaking of IST, we're headed to Nelspruit then Pietermaritzburg in two weeks for thirteen days of training, which means thirteen consecutive days of hot showers, flushing toilets....and a pool!! Then, two days after returning from IST, we're off to Cape Town. We're staying at a guest house run by an Italian monastic order, the Scalabrini Brothers. All profits go to their various social programs. Check them out, super rates and a great cause. Woot! We're excited! 

- Elizabeth 

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