Saturday, 21 November 2009

A rain storm like no other, a very lucky goat and three not-so-lucky chickens

On our second morning at Kande, around 4am it started to rain; not just any sort of rain, but torrential tropical rain that fell like sheets and soaked you through in seconds. Normally, at this time of year, Malawi only experiences short rains – sudden cloud bursts that last little more than half an hour. The rain we had lasted till lunchtime and there was no let up whatsoever.

Our plan for the day was to kill and spit roast a goat. I’ve never seen an animal being killed for food so I was quite looking forward to going to the local village and watching the sorry event; however, the rain put a spanner in the works.

Most of us were awake early: the early sunrise and the sound of the rain on the tent making undisturbed sleep impossible. As we sat beneath our rain shelter, mugs of steaming coffee to hand watching torrents of water bubbling underneath our tents, it became all too clear that the rain wasn’t going anywhere fast.

At 9am we headed to the gate to see our goat. The goat stood in the security guard’s booth with a look of grim inevitability about it: as though it had already resigned itself to its fate. Fortunately, given that we would have had to cook him for a good 10 hours and the rain was still pouring, we decided to spare him and ordered three chickens from the village instead.

The chickens arrived dead and plucked early in the afternoon. By this point, the rain had stopped so, whilst most of us were playing intense games of Monopoly, Griff was able to get a fire going and set up the spit. Two-and-a-bit hours, and a lot of basting later and we were tucking into our village chickens. They tasted great but deep down I was a little gutted that we didn’t get to eat the goat.

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