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Bon appetit Simpson! an introduction to Ugandan foods

Mar 29 • 3014 views • 3 Comments on Bon appetit Simpson! an introduction to Ugandan foods Africa, African food, East Africa, Society and culture, Travel, Travel tips and advice, Uganda, Volunteering

Simpson, our 21 year old ‘gate boy’ who lives on the compound with me has introduced me to lots of new foods, which is extremely generous considering his shockingly low wages (more about that next week). He’s shared with me:

  • Cassava (like potato) and beans – served hot, mixed together, love it.
  • Jack fruit – you stick your hand in a polythene bag to extract pieces of it! Has industrial type ‘glue’ (or sap) that you can’t wash off anything. Nice tho, v different to anything I’ve ever had before.
  • Traditional food from his region (Banyankole tribe), which is three items:
  • Kidney beans – fine.
    Dark brown balls of millet flour, mixed with water and kneeded, uncooked (like thick wallpaper paste mixed with fine sawdust- yuck!
    Served with
    “Sauce” of thin white goat’s milk cheese (smells bad), watered down (double, triple yuck!)
  • Eating it once was bearable but he offered it to me again the other day and I just couldn’t eat a whole plate of it. I’m not a fussy eater but god it was foul.

“Thank you Simpson, it’s very kind of you to prepare me lunch.”

I offer him breakfast every day (normally tea and bananas) and wish him “Bon appetit Simpson!” He just loves it when I say this and we both start our day laughing.

Last week I gave him his first ever go on a computer! He is so excited and the perfect student. He goes to uni in four months so I’m trying to teach him the basics before he goes. He’s over the moon and I keep getting ‘greetings’ messages from his brothers and his sister (he’s one of 15 children, a common family size) who are just as thrilled. It’s not part of my UCF job but I feel like it’s all part of the VSO role “sharing skills.”And Simpson is such a kind-hearted and funny guy that it’s a pleasure. You should see the sparkle in his eyes.

We were trying to think of a name for his email address – he looked a bit perplexed when he saw the name Simpson had gone already so I said “why don’t we do something more personal like bonappetit.simpson?” He nearly fell off his chair with excitement!

As for life generally, I’m getting into a routine, but everything takes so long to do here. ..

  • There’s no way round it, to avoid the mozzie bites you have to apply repellent at dusk every day
  • carefully check the net’s tucked in when you hop into bed
  • peel the fruit and veg (or rinse in filtered water)
  • blow the candles out because the elec’s back on
  • do the washing-up right away cos you can’t leave anything o/night [you know why! INSECTS! big ones!]
  • top up the water filter (after having boiled the water first …)
  • kill more mosquitoes or they’ll sing you to sleep …
But it’s all worth doing as I’m keeping well and have very few bites.

Mia, turning on the tap of the water filter, is the daughter of fellow Tom and Julie, VSO volunteers in Cameroon, isn’t she so cute?

Work’s starting to feel productive now Patrick, Enid and I sit together. There doesn’t seem to be any fall-out since we asked Sophie to leave, which is great.

I cooked us all lunch on friday and it seemed to go down well. “It was a very good lunch,” Patrick said (there was lots of it I think he meant!) although I was a bit peeved to notice one uninvited visitor at the bloody table. Huh!!

Had stupidly said “I haven’t seen a cockroach for over a week” and a small one scampered across the table – my table – not for bloody long I can tell you. It got a heavy dosing of killer spray and 63 kilos of me for good measure! Even Patrick went “ugh!”

63 kilos – just had to drop that in there , lol… am rather chuffed that even tho I feel the lack of exercise I appear to have lost weight (do bathroom scales work differently at altitude???)

The Muzungu’s photo gallery on Flickr. It’s been great fun swapping comments on my photos. So much better than the old days when I would have made you sit through a whole evening of snaps!! I think most of you are getting the hang of Flickr but please tell me if it’s still not working.

Adding photos directly to my blog is fiddly, e.g. have tried 3 times tonight and it’s failed so will have to stick with Flickr for showing more than 1 at a time…

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3 Responses to Bon appetit Simpson! an introduction to Ugandan foods

  1. lizziema says:

    Lucky Simpson getting your IT help, as I did. Food sounds……..different. Have you had any fish yet? You sound like a real trouper. Must have been brought up proper.

  2. Charlie says:

    Haven’t bought fresh fish yet as you know I’m squeamish! Eaten Tilapia and chips out, GORJUSS! It’s a right ugly-looking fish though with big spines.
    I’m opening the Internet Cafe again tonight for Simpson 🙂

  3. […] 36. Simpson. My ‘Ugandan brother‘ has been with me through thick and thin (in fact he became very thin when he was a student, going without food so he could afford the fare to university). He’s my hero! His graduation is 20th of October, and I have a front seat. I’m so proud of him. But wait – next up he’s going to be a pop star! […]

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