What do these things have in common you might ask?
Well, I will happily explain. Gaborone continues to be plagued by power outages. In fact, my area went with out power both Sunday and Monday evenings. Dealing with these power outages has now become just a matter of fact for me and I am sure many other residents of Gaborone. You either prepare your food in advance so that you can eat when you are hungry or wait until the power comes back on close to 9:00 pm. As for grocery shopping and keeping meat and other perishables in the fridge/freezer you don’t even bother. There is absolutely no point wasting your money on a week’s worth of food that is dependent on a fridge/freezer. This does however make for an interesting diet which could be a blog post in and of itself!
Fortunately our access to water has not been cut again in the evenings for the past week….knock on wood! Hope that I haven’t jinxed that 🙂
Although we are technically into the autumn season here in Southern Africa the temperatures still climb to the mid 30’s or higher almost every day. For a few nights during the last week or so it was cooler in the evenings and earlier mornings. However, the day time highs and lack of rain continue to make it feel like we are still in the midst of summer. Other than a slightly cooler breeze there is no noticeable sign that fall and winter are on its way to Botswana. Except Jetske threatening to close down my pool….mean woman!
With these high temperatures, I continue to dress as simply as possible, especially when I am at home in Peter’s Place. This usually means wearing as little as possible, meaning a tank top and a kanga or piece of cloth wrapped around my waist. I know, I said that I am now living in a diplomatic enclave and it has become even more so as our newest resident is here from Britain on a diplomatic mission working with the President’s Office on Poverty Reduction. So I should be more civilized in my dress code. Ha! Fat Chance! If African women can dress like that than I can too!
However, I have to admit that wearing a piece of cloth wrapped around your waist with NO fasteners can have challenges. Even with an ample waist and hips for the material to cling to, if you are at all active while wearing this ensemble then you can guarantee slippage. Fortunately I have gotten adapt at catching it before disaster occurs and rapidly resettling the material so there are no outright clothing malfunctions. EXCEPT…….
This is where the three merge……
Lately, I have been doing a lot of baking and cooking that requires the regular size oven in the main house. Thankfully, Peter and Jetske are so wonderfully accommodating of allowing me to wander in and out of their kitchen as if I actually live there 🙂 While there is not much distance between my apartment and the back door of their house when you are attired in only a piece of cloth around your hips and carrying baking dishes or a chicken to be roasted there can be a slight problem with walking too briskly or not briskly enough if you know what I mean!
A perfect example of this happened Sunday evening. Jetske was in South Africa visiting her dad so I was being a good tenant and cooked a lovely roast chicken dinner for Peter and I. Everything was proceeding as planned when I was hit with a double whammy….first the power decided that it was time for a break – fortunately my chicken, potatoes and veggies were close enough to being cooked that the remaining heat would finish the meal off. But I hadn’t made my gravy for the mashed potatoes yet and as my family members will tell you….I will not eat boiled potatoes without gravy….I pride myself on my gravy making abilities….which are so much better than my mother’s! Right Mom!
Never one to accept simple defeat I quickly swung into action…in more ways than one. The burners in my apartment were still hot from cooking the veggies so I knew that if I could get the chicken fat into a pan along with flour that I could at least some kind of gravy made. Hell bent on getting to the main house and draining the fat out of the chicken so I could get back to my kitchen while the heat of the burner was still lingering I strode just a little too briskly….and down came my piece of cloth covering my bottom half.
Now this is not the first time that this has happened to me. I had a similar incident the late afternoon that I baked the blueberry muffins. I found that I have a whole new dexterity of being able to carry a large heavy bowl and baking implements while still utilizing my elbows to prevent a total clothing malfunction.
However on Sunday night thanks to the power outage and Peter not having had a chance to turn the generator on as yet, I opted for the complete clothing malfunction in the semi dark so that I could make my gravy….how is that for priorities?
In the end, all was well! The gravy turned fabulous even if I do say so myself. No one witnessed my semi-nude streak between houses and Peter & I enjoyed a lovely roast chicken dinner by lamp light! Just proving that almost any odds can be conquered if you are determined enough.