April 12, 2015
April 06, 2015
In Senegal and Congo, I remember not being able to get fresh milk, and the cheese seemed to be way beyond my budget...
Though I haven't yet attempted to buy the milk in plastic bags yet, I have been surprised by the quality of yogurt "Mali Lait" makes. Frankly, they are good -- in fact, they are much nicer than the ones in the States. Lightly sweetened with sugar, strawberry, vanilla, or plain, they have a nice rich texture to them, and taste fresh.
Today, I bought Nido Powdered Milk and experimented with making dairy products at home. Daunted by the task at hand (I had a pretty unsuccessful try about 10 years ago in Senegal), my Father-in-Law makes his own Greek-style yogurt and has assured me several times that it couldn't be simpler.
I will post my attempts at making various dairies with recipes, but in the meantime, check out this Palak Paneer I concocted using powdered milk:
Posted by 007 in Africa at 2:53 PM
March 26, 2015
Even though I was exhausted (I have been averaging about 5 hours per night for the last three weeks -- the antimalarial gives me bad insomnia), it was great to be back listening to West African music.
This is a panorama of the evening.
Posted by 007 in Africa at 4:56 AM
Posted by 007 in Africa at 4:39 AM
1) I'm not an intern and thus receiving a real salary
2) I've moved here with my husband so I have an instant friend
3) I have access to mail services at the Embassy!
We have access to a military post office here in Mali... It essential works exactly like a post office back home, but with delivery by plane to the Embassy mail room. Amazon.com here I come!
The drawback is that sometime, addresses get muddled. Take for example a medication that my husband bought online. He ordered it about 3 weeks ago, and it seemed to have gotten lost somewhere along the way. Until today.
We found out it got delivered by accident... at the USS Bonhomme Richard! An amphibious Assault ship!
Ya, that was definitely the wrong address.
Posted by 007 in Africa at 4:33 AM
March 08, 2015
Posted by 007 in Africa at 12:11 PM
September 27, 2014
The village has become really good at ensuring that humans don't disrupt the process too much. Groups of 8 to 10 people follow a guide to the beach, and a spotter will show them various turtles at different stages:
- Walking from the sea to the beach (we are not allowed during this process as humans can easily spook out turtles who will rush back to the sea without laying their eggs)
- Digging a deep hole in the sand (same restriction as above)
- When the turtle is ready to lay, she will go into a sort of trance and concentrate on nothing else but pushing her eggs out (that's where we can start observing the process.) A turtle can lay up to 150 eggs, depending on her age. Our guide Gina, mentioned that at times, she'd observe a turtle that would only lay 2 eggs: "plop plop it goes -- and it's a bit disappointing to witness" she said
- Then the turtle will cover the hole with her back flippers, dipping her tail in the nest to check for completeness. When that's done, she will use her powerful front flippers to throw sand over her head and to land behind her, forming a soft mound of sand. This is to camouflage the nest, and misdirect predators (humans, dogs, jaguars, birds) away from the real source of eggs
- Exhausted, the turtle will then go back to sea
Here's a great video about the whole arduous process of making baby turtles, from Brad Nahill:
Posted by 007 in Africa at 9:23 AM
September 26, 2014
Tortugero is fairly isolated, so to get there, we took a bus from our last place to the Port of Moin in Limon for 1.5 hours. Then we hopped on a small boat and rode along the canals of the National Park for 4 hours to the village. Here are some of the scenes we saw along the way...
Posted by 007 in Africa at 9:54 AM