Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Occasionally, life here makes us feel like we're chickens running around headless. You make plans, they fall through. The only person who can help you with something you absolutely need done is a 9 hour drive away. Basic amenities go on the fritz the day before a major journey/meeting/event. Person A has a problem that keeps Person B from being able to help Person C make their appointment with Person D, who then has to cancel their meeting with you. Such is life.

Today, we are waiting to see how our travel plans for the next 5 days work out. We have reservations in Gaborone for meetings that are scheduled there that may have to be postponed until we find out whether or not one of our meetees will actually end up being here in Maun during the appointed time instead. We'll know this evening. Until then, we can only pack our bags (again) in anticipation of leaving and… wait.

Why "BaoRob"? The cool picture from our trip back to Maun this week, that's all. We sure do see some nifty things at potty stops on our travels.

recording the Wayeyi choir

Rob was recording the Wayeyi choir from Ikoga for the last couple of days, singing both traditional songs an translated hymns in Shiyeyi.

Rob at work

the choir at work

…and then the photos began

Eventually, we were dragged into the fun.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Kalanga New Testament & Psalms launch

Rob & I went to our first New Testament launch yesterday, in the Kalanga language. What a day!

Rev. Mothetho loads the NT&P into the bakkie to bring to the dedication grounds

a Kalanga poet makes a dramatic presentation during the dedication

distribution of the first copies

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Batsara Batsapi

The festival at Sangwali was a success. I met some people who I think we will be of great assistance to each other in the future stages of the Shiyeyi language project. The dancing was wonderful, especially one little cutie who couldn't have been more than 4 years old but, boy, could she work that reed skirt!

meeting with Namibian Shiyeyi-speakers to discuss Bible translation possibilities

waiting for Shikati to come

Wayeyi dancers

Shikati Ozoo speaks

zebras and impala on the side of the road, driving back from the festival

with my new prized possession - a recently published Shiyeyi grammar by Frank Seidel

We arrived home yesterday around 7:30PM, after an eventful trip that included a 3-car accident (wich we weren't involved with, just came upon 30 minutes after it happened), subsequent emergency trip to the clinic, transport of the Wayeyi chief to his destination (he was in one of the cars) and near misses of our own with various cows that couldn't be seen on the road at night. But we are safe and praying for those who were injured, including a number of those Wayeyi who attended the festival with us in Sangwali. Still waiting for news on some who we brought to the clinic.

Tomorrow, we drive to Francistown for meetings. Today, we do laundry.

Chicken Soup from My Soul

Chicken soup is one of those things that I can't make without thinking of certain people:

Mom: She taught me how to make chicken/turkey soup from a carcass after a roast chicken/turkey meal. It's not really a recipe thing, more of a technique and learning the taste/feel of the process.

Magda: It was at a dinner at her house, during my last year of high school in Nova Scotia, that I had dill as an herb in soup for the first time. I was entranced. From that point in time, Mom said I was overdoing the whole dill thing. I can't help it. I like dill. My permanent thanks to Magda for the dinner invite and the many soups-with-dill that ensued.

June: This was the first dish that I made to impress Rob's mother, at our first Christmas together at his folks then-place in Ohio. It worked.

Kim: We had grand alternative health adventures together when Rob went through vernacular media training at JAARS in North Carolina. Sharing prayer, recipes, herb tips, laughter and soup… good times. It was with Kim that I first began playing with lemons in the soup, as the mineral-releasing agent with the bones instead of vinegar. Rob hates even the smell of vinegar; it takes away his appetite.

Amy: At LTSS in South Carolina, I made The Soup, health-restoring properties now finely tuned, for my friend Amy. She liked it, felt better, praised it highly. I also think of Amy when I make the soup. It's not that she modified it; she just appreciated it really well, in that highly encouraging manner that she has.

So, is there a recipe? Not really. There are only current permutations, depending on how I'm eating these days. Here is the current permutation, as I am cooking it today:

Eshinee's Current (not Currant) Chicken Soup

4 batches of leftover chicken bones-and-bits from 4 quarter-chicken meals at Nando's
water to fully cover in crockpot
6 teaspoons of sea salt crystals
1/4 cup lime juice
2 bay leaves (sent by Barbara for ant-repellent purposes)
1 Tbsp dill
1 Tbsp garlic
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 carrots, sliced
2 potatoes, cubed

I put the chicken leftovers in a crockpot, covered with water and added 4 tsp of salt plus the lime juice, last night around 9PM. I turned it on high and forgot that I had done so. I woke up at 4AM, remembered that the soup was still on high, went out and turned it down to low. At 10AM, I took out all the bones and chicken bits, put them in an old ice cream container to cool down enough to pick the meat off by hand; I'll probably get to that in an hour or so. I'll then return the meat to the pot. I added 2 more tsp of sea salt, picked out the bay leaf, put in the herbs and veggies. I turned it on auto-shift, which is sort of like a high setting that keep it hotter than low but adjusting so that it doesn't overheat. If I check later this afternoon and the veggies are full cooked, I'll probably turn it down to low. We plan to eat at 6PM, roughly. I may get all crazy and add dumplings, if I can find a good crockpot dumpling recipe online.

I'm not kidding about the amount of sea salt, folks. Salt to taste later but do add it with the bones as well, to help leach out the minerals. That's what this soup is all about, getting the most nutrients out of that chicken.

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