Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Trip to Bunia Reflections...again

Eating goat meat on Mardi Gras

We arrived in Butembo late at night on Mardi Gras and were welcomed by a community of African Sisters. We entered the dining room where a long table was prepared and a head table as well where we were motioned to sit at. The dinner was a typical array of African food: rice, goat meat, potatoes and spinach. I helped myself to some goat meat which looked rather nice and began to cut through it. My knife was extremely dull and I knew there was no way I could cut through this tough piece of meat. After struggling with the dull knife I had already caught the attention of ALL the African Sisters and one Sister proceeded to stand up, walk over to me and take my knife and exchange it for a sharp one. Slightly embarrassed I take the knife and try again. To no avail I again have troubles with this piece of meat and this time the piece of meat slides off my plate. I quickly glance up to see if anyone noticed me only to see that all the Sisters eyes are watching me with much amusement. Now I am getting more embarrassed. I pick the piece of meat up and put it on my plate and slowly try again. A few seconds pass and one of the Sisters comes up to me and tells me to put the piece of meat on the plate she places in front of me. After I place it on the plate she motions me to take meat from a different pot which apparently is much softer. She then asks Tomas, who was sitting beside me laughing the whole time, to put his meat on the plate also but instead he takes my piece of meat off the plate and says that he will eat it. This is the breaking point where all the Sisters burst into laughter. The whole time they were trying not to laugh at me and finally when Tomas took my butchered piece of rubber meat they just couldn’t hold in their laughter. They probably were thinking that us westerners are a little strange. It was pretty amusing to say the least and a very memorable Mardi Gras!

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