This weekend we traveled to Moshi to celebrate the arrival of a new baby. As is customary in Tanzania, a new baby is often celebrated with the slaughtering of a goat–in this case, two goats.
I’ll spare you the photos of what we first saw when we arrived–the goats had been slaughtered and their blood drained. One goat hung from the clothesline by its back leg while it was being skinned; the other goat was laying on the ground. Mbuzi analala (the goat is sleeping), said Elly. Yes, Elly, the goat is sleeping. We’ll just leave it at that.
Kakasii immediately pitched in with the preparations, making sure the fire was good and hot for making supu mbuzi, goat soup.
They were peeling them in preparation for the soup, and also to roast some over the charcoal with the goat. They used a knife to cut a slice down the length of the banana, cracked it open to remove the peeling and then shaved away any of the stringy stuff you find inside bananas (the technical name for that stuff is phloem).
I think the women figured I wasn’t going to be much help to them so they just encouraged me to sit down. From where I positioned my chair to keep an eye on Max and Elly, I was able to watch the women make fast work of peeling a huge bunch of bananas while also watching the official goat roaster do his thing.
Before long, the first of the mbuzi choma was ready to be served. Pieces of meat were flying fast and furiously about–it’s best eaten while hot. Our host handed me a piece of what I am pretty certain was goat testicle. I was happy after that to have Kakasii prepare me a plate. That nyama (meat) was just the way I like it–a little crispy on the outside.
Now, lest you think Max and Elly live exotic lifestyles only eating things like goat meat and roasted bananas, note that at one point in the afternoon I found them in the living room eating french fries and watching cartoons with the other kids.
Later in the afternoon it was time to serve the kisusio–broth mixed with hot goat’s blood. The doctor attending the goat roast told me that the soup helps women regain their strength after delivering a baby and produce more breast milk. I missed my chance at kisusio since I was in Baltimore following the birth of Max and Elly. Baby Viola’s mom and dad drank the kisusio that Kakasii prepared for them and then some of the other guests had some, too. (I did not have any, but Max did.)
As the goat eating continued outside, I eventually managed to get Max and Elly put to bed. It’s much warmer in Moshi than Arusha so I didn’t worry too much when they refused to put their pajamas on and fell asleep in their diapers. Kakasii stayed outside with the other guests for a while longer and I enjoyed a bit of peace and quiet while reading a book on my Kindle about keeping backyard chickens (oh yeah, that’s happening).
We enjoyed a slow start to our Monday morning before heading back to Arusha, giving Max and Kakasii a chance to catch a little nap.