Do You Like The Taste, Stuff It In Your Face, It’s Not Nice To Waste.

Tuna Casserole is THEEE most disgusting meal known to mankind. I’ve eaten a lot of “different” foods in my life, but still to this day I have a huge hatred towards tuna casserole… or what was passed off as casserole while I was living in Namibia.

Since the orphanage operated off donations and volunteers, funds were tight and meals were far from glamorous to say the least. The meal schedule was repeated on a weekly basis and every Wednesday for lunch was supposed to be tuna casserole, but what was served in those well used metal bowls was so far from anything recognizable its pathetic. The volunteer who was “cooking” while I was there (bless her heart) sucked at her job. She was a wonderful girl from the Netherlands and honestly tried her best, but the slop she produced on Wednesday at lunch led me to a weekly fast. Like for real, how is it possible to destroy something so hard it was no longer recognizable? The noodles were way overcooked and mashed to a pulp, and I didn’t know that much salt existed in the world. Also, who in the world puts a whole jar of MUSTARD in tuna casserole? Like for real? Needless to say, I have avoided anything that might remotely resemble tuna casserole since.

While there, I also ate Boa Constrictor for the first time. Who am I kidding, it wasn’t the first time, it was the only time. My good Aussie friend F, took me out to a fancy meal in downtown Windhoek one of my last nights there, and we did it up Namibian style. Ordered all the best local cuisine, which of course consisted of Boa. Delicious. OK you know how people relate most new foods to chicken? Legit. Boa tastes like chicken, but even better if possible. Think pure tender meat, no fat, mouth-watering amazingness. Like chicken on steroids….Or chicken unaffected by steroids, your choice.

Not delicious though? Chicken in Kenya. Now hear me out, sometimes it was pretty standard, everyday chicken right. But, sometimes, I was invited into someone’s house for tea or a visit, and they would insist I stay to eat. Then, unbeknownst to me, they would slaughter a hen fresh from the yard, and cook it on the spot for me. This was to show how much they appreciated me being a visitor in their home, and how much they respect me. OK, I totally value that, and I’m 100% thankful for their act of appreciation. What I wasn’t so thankful for? The fact that when they cook the chicken, they normally boil it complete with head/feet as well, then when they serve it up, they would insist that I get those two pieces. Wow, thanks? Here I am just wanting a good ol fashioned chicken breast please. Give me the dry chewy chicken with ugali and sukuma wiki and I’ll be fine. But nope, they want to serve me “most desirable” head and feet. And I don’t even know where to start. Seriously? Is there even actual edible meat on the feet? And don’t get me started on the head. There’s two damn eyes and a beak on that thing! Nope. I couldn’t do it. No matter how many times I was served that “fresh chicken” I couldn’t bring myself to put those portions in my mouth. I would end up slipping it to a kid standing nearby, waiting with bated breath. They were always so excited to get the coveted item they would quickly sneak it outside and I knew they wouldn’t rat me out, since they got to enjoy it. So at least it was off my plate, I didn’t have to eat it, yet someone enjoyed it, I figured it was a win win situation right?

Another disgusting Kenyan cuisine? Goat. I just gagged a little in my mouth. Every time goat was served I just wanted a simple plain old piece of bread instead. But NOOOOO. I was apparently super lucky to be having goat, and I should savour every bite. My first time trying it was Christmas 2010. E, little E and I took the 12 hour bus ride on the literal worst roads in history of roads and arrived at my in-laws to celebrate the holiday. It was also my first time meeting many of my in-laws so that was stressful in and of itself, but focusing on the food… E’s family and friends came from all over the country to celebrate with us since many wanted to meet myself and little E. It was decided they would slaughter the goat the morning of the 25th. The WHOLE day, it smelled like goat you couldn’t escape it. First, they roasted some of it. Fine. Then they boiled most of the rest. For hours upon hours, until it didn’t even resemble food any more. Lets just say Kenyans are not really known for their amazing cooking. Like when was the last time you heard anyone say let’s go check out that amazing Kenyan restaurant, I heard its great? Never. Because they don’t exist. But their coffee/tea? Off the charts!

Another thing I tried there was locusts. They were ok I guess. It was mainly about me getting over my fear of sticking a living breathing bug in my mouth and chewing it up, but I did! Yeah me! The kids convinced me they were so delicious, and it was hard not to believe them, since they were running around like crazy trying to catch as many as they could to shove them in their mouths. So I joined in the fun. I caught one of my own and shoved it in live and wiggling, amidst the squeals of delight from all the children. It was so bizarre, how it fluttered around inside my mouth a couple of times before I had the courage to bite down and swallow quickly.

But, at least now I can say I did it. Can say? Is that an achievement? Oh well, I did it. And it tasted a million times better than tuna casserole.


-Alice Cooper/Eat Some More-

There’s Such a Difference Between us, and a Million Miles 

This morning I remembered about a time I was “in love” before W. Do I think you can love more than one person in your life? Yes, we are human and feel emotions for people. But, what I felt for J should probably be classified more as an infatuation or a fling, and because I was so young, I didn’t know any better so I definitely thought I was in love. Although I definitely doodled my name with his last name for a solid month… ah young “love”

After I graduated high school, I decided it was time to get away from life here and start exploring the world. Travel is a big deal to me. Expanding my mind and discovering other cultures and just having new experiences was important. I never wanted to be someone who stayed in the province I grew up in, never giving myself a chance to learn about the world. I had chosen that I would not be an ignorant person. So straight after I bought my car I started saving up for my “trip”.

I had decided I was going to go, by myself, to Africa for three months. I found an organization who needed support and would host me, and after saving another 6-7 grand (flights/shopping/safari/souvenirs) I set off to Namibia in January of 2006 to volunteer in an AIDS orphanage.

It changed my life. It was my first glimpse of poverty and people in real need. This was the true definition of Ghetto. We commuted into the small community of Katatura in the capital of Windhoek daily and it was terrible and beautiful at the same time. But the children…. the children were captivating. They loved life despite what they were going through, yes they didn’t know any different, but they found joy in the day-to-day regardless. My first tattoo was a line from a poem I wrote when I got home to commemorate my time there and the children I fell in love with. It’s written in Afrikaans and translated says “who my love dares”… and to me it means if you love something or someone you should do whatever it takes to boldly show it.

Anyways, J was one of the long term workers at the organization that hosted me. He had grown up in the community and had overcome all that life had thrown at him, only to return and help those in similar situations. Hot right? Right.

We didn’t really connect until a month into my trip, but then it was like a whirlwind. He was writing me love notes and throwing rocks at my window late at night so we could talk. Then sometimes at night we would sneak out to the field and spend hours talking  under the stars. It was actually really romantic thinking back. He was older then me and very convincing, and even though I wasn’t technically on vacation, I wasn’t at home in my regular environment either, so I figured I should let loose and went with it.

By the time April rolled around, J had convinced me that we were meant to be together, and that he would find a way to join me in Canada. My innocent 18 year old self totally hung on to each word he said. This man wrote me poems and songs for me which he serenaded me with on the front porch while strumming a guitar (dreamy hey) How could I possibly think any else?

Well, after I returned home, the emails and even a few international phone calls went back and forth for probably 6-8 months… pretty good for a long distance “relationship” at 18. But then…. things just petered out I guess? I’m not even sure what happened to be honest. Over 10 years has past and well… J never made it here. I never went back, although I never said I would. But we both moved on with our lives. At least I did, I never found out what happened to J. And I’m realizing that although I’m sure I was heartbroken at the time, possibly even cried once or twice, it’s basically been inconsequential in the long-term of my life.

I barely even remember that it happened let alone how it ended.

And maybe if I’m lucky, I’ll be at a point in my life one day where I look back and see E that way. Where I barely remember that he happened. And hopefully I’ll also forget how it ended.


-Adele/Hello-