Tastebuds, Meet Sparky

Tastebuds, Meet Sparky

Warning: Graphic depictions of goat and chicken slaughter on traditional cooking day.  At least I now feel prepared to do it if I really had to for survival.  I don’t think it will get to that but who knows.

Traditional cooking day gave us a taste of the many Namibian cultures out there.  In one month I will be joining my people, the Owambos, in the north north as they call it.  But we also had dishes from the Hereros, Damara/Namas, Afrikaaners, Kavango region, and Zambezi.  Formerly known as the Caprivi strip, the Zambezi is that part of the country that looks like it could fall right off.

A phrase central to my new vocabulary is kandi hole ombelela yoshikombo (I don’t like goat meat).

I'm making a rug out of the goat skin. I don't know what I'm doing, but I mean, they were just going to throw it away....
I’m making a rug out of the goat skin. I don’t know what I’m doing, but I mean, they were just going to throw it away….
Alex and I work out on Tuesdays. Can you tell?
Alex and I work out on Tuesdays. Can you tell?
Megan and I find chicken plucking to be quite relaxing.
Megan and I find chicken plucking to be quite relaxing.
Shaylyn will be moving to a land with many of these mopane worms. Slightly too salty today.
Shaylyn will be moving to a land with many of these mopane worms. Slightly too salty today.
Who knew chicken innards were so colorful? Also see those orange cherry tomato looking balls? Those are partially formed eggs! Science.
Who knew chicken innards were so colorful? Also see those orange cherry tomato looking balls? Those are partially formed eggs! Science.
Tada...Cindy looks great. This is the traditional dress of my people, the Oshiwambos.
Tada…Cindy looks great. This is the traditional dress of my people, the Oshiwambos.
The roasted head. Not quite done yet now we have to put it with curry sauce and onions.
The roasted head. Not quite done yet now we have to put it with curry sauce and onions.  In pink is my language trainer Rachel omuwa. (Rachel the beautiful)
Plucking pose.
Plucking pose.
TIP: dipping the dead chicken in boiling water makes feather plucking a breeze.
TIP: dipping the dead chicken in boiling water makes feather plucking a breeze.
This is Sparky. He knew his fate. There was no comforting him after his fellow goat was murdered before his eyes.
This is Sparky. He knew his fate. There was no comforting him after his fellow goat was murdered before his eyes.
Fieyah
Fieyah
Pretty Gail had a traditional Khoekhoegoab dress made.
Pretty Gail had a traditional Khoekhoegoab dress made.
Catherine did the same. At least we didn't wield the katamba
Catherine held the chicken so it wouldn’t run without its head. At least we didn’t wield the okatana (machete) ourselves.
Jatin held a chicken as it shook and died. Hopefully he didn't have nightmares.
Jatin, so proud.
Oshiwambo fires.
Owambo yetu. Our Owambo.
The long fire for the Afrikaaners.
The long fire for the Afrikaaners.
Fletcher and our PST boss Kaitlynn. Very cute guys.
Fletcher and our PST boss Kaitlynn. Very cute guys.
Doing my part
Doing my part
Hmm what does the tummy feel like
Hmm what does the tummy feel like
The real deal
The real deal
How does this camera work hmmm
How does this camera work hmmm
It was kind of surreal watching an animal die. Besides I value the cheese it produces while alive more than the meat you get when it dies. Goat meat, not so good.
It was kind of surreal watching an animal die. Besides I value the cheese it produces while alive more than the meat you get when it dies. Goat meat, not so good.

 

You made it through all those pictures!  Congrats on a strong stomach.  It is disturbing to watch an animal the size of a human child be killed, but once it was done my science/dissection background was piqued with curiosity.  In deference to Sparky, I will work very hard to salt his skin and keep it in my hut to remind me of this day and its lessons.  Respect food for all the preparation it requires, respect life for how quickly it can end, and respect my stomach by declining goat eyeballs.

weens
Meet the author / weens

3 Comments

  • Daniel Donohue

    Hahaha fach you too…. what a rude wall! Awesome pics, you look like a pro feather picker offer.

  • Barbara Damon

    This reminds me of one summer when I was about 8 or 9, my uncle brought a bunch of live chickens out to our cottage on Lake Michigan. The goal was to have the freshest chicken possible similar to the local Mac’s Chicken Shack in Sturgeon Bay. My uncle Al slit their throats and left the birds running around minus their heads. It was the job of me and my cousin Barbara to catch them and give them to my Uncle Bill who immersed them in a big pot of boiling water to get their feathers off. Once barbecued, they were delicious. I should mention this only happened once. I don’t think my mother or aunts were particularly enamored with this style of cooking.

    • weens

      Wow he just let them run around? Yea I don’t think some of the other trainees would have been very happy about that.

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