Friday, May 3rd: the day the computers died…
Shay and I have our usual morning Africafe on the porch and soon learn that both our computers are no longer working. Mine due to a sudden and heavy downpour that shorted out my keyboard, and Shay’s due to an ominous kernel error — both dire situations in the land without Genius Bars. This electronics crisis is, again, why I’m recreating my trip here a week after my return home (and after a successful visit to the Genius Bar).
Today is one of those days that just doesn’t happen anywhere else but Africa; fun, interesting, beautiful, exceedingly frustrating, a little bit frightening and always an adventure. I call this day our Wild Goat Chase.
Shay now has two roommates at the house who help her with expenses and, more importantly, also keep her company. Korbi, a German medical student, volunteering at Moshi’s KCMC hospital, and Barbara, a primary school teacher who is volunteering her time here at a local secondary school, decided to host a party for some of their local colleagues at KCMC and the school. No Tanzanian celebration is ever complete without the grilling of a goat. Since Shay and I had two crucial things working in our favor –a car and a free morning– shopping for the party supplies fell to us. First up, the market for produce, spices and charcoal:
While at the market our chef, Severin, made some inquires about getting a goat. Since market day for live animals was on another day, Severin started making a flurry of phone calls to track down a suitable goat. As is so often the case, Shay and I had no idea what was going on and for reasons that were unclear to us, we ended up in our car with Severin and Mussa heading way out of Moshi. We were heading to a village about 30 minutes outside of Moshi that was having a live animal market day. We arrived in this village only to learn that market day is on Thursday, not Friday. Back in the car.
Still clueless, we ended up in a beautiful village a little ways up the road. But the man who we were hoping to purchase our goat from no longer lived here. With Shay and me still fuzzy on the details and our car stopped in the middle of nowhere, Severin headed out on foot to find a goat.
Severin eventually found someone in this village who could sell us a goat. But first, more waiting…
And, here comes our goat!
After much deliberation, it’s decided that this goat is too small.
We’re then asked to follow our new friends back to their nearby farm to choose another goat. Off into the cornfields we go:
And, after a very bumpy 10 minute ride, we find the goats!
The bargaining begins…
…and we get our goat. Into the boot he goes 😦
But, wow, look at this place!
All the driving and confusion and waiting are almost worth it.
Back home, it falls to our day guard, Focus to retrieve the goat and tie it up in the yard until the party prep begins.
I’m guessing that Focus doesn’t have a ton of goat experience because it quickly escaped and chaos ensued. While our guard dog, Ranger, went nuts and we all ran around the muddy yard like crazy people, Korbi decided to document the fun on his iPad.
In the end, Focus caught the goat, Ranger calmed down and Shay and I headed to Mama Clementina to cook bundt cake with the Form 4s. Here’s Shay and me with the girls:
We were treated to some beautiful dancing and singing while we waited for the cake to come out of the oven (I’ll share those videos another time). And, as it was the first time, the cake was delicious.
Then it was back home for the celebration!
Severin is an awesome cook and actually made me like goat. Come on, it looks pretty good, doesn’t it? It’s always an adventure around here.