I am one step closer to my goal of seeing an animal slaughtered.
Last weekend, Andrew, Karin, Angela, and I accompanied Sis Ghana to a traditional bride welcoming ceremony in Mount Frere. It is about a 4 hour drive from East London and the beginning of the deep rural areas. We were warmly welcomed into the family home (the long drive meant we missed much of the ceremony), but we managed to show up just in time for the big meal! The usual side dishes of rice, butternut squash, potato, and spinach greens and in the centre of the table, a giant wooden platter of lamb. You cut your own chunks and we quickly realized it was easier to use your hands. I took great pleasure in ripping off a lamb rib! When asked if she liked chicken, Karin responded with a "yes" and about 10 minutes later, an entire roasted bird was brought out of the kitchen!
Because of the long drive there and back, we didn't stay very long but enough to experience the warmth of the family and the cold of inland areas after the sun has set! On our way out, I walked by the braai area where everyone was huddled and saw the telltale bloody carcass and coat of that morning's slaughtered lamb hanging on the fence. I'm not leaving this country until I've seen the ceremonial process of slaughtering an animal. It makes you feel much closer to the food; to know that it ate the grass in the field you're standing in and is truly appreciated in the celebration and ceremony.
The combination of gorging myself on freshly slaughtered sheep, chicken, and wedding cake wreaked absolute havoc on my stomach, but it was totally worth it!