The World Around Us

Let’s go Boma-ing!

Country: Zimbabwe by Lisette

14-04-2013

13-03-09-Victoria-Falls079WSix weeks after returning from amazing Victoria Falls, I continue reflecting on my shared experience with Marlowe and friends Chris and Tim. I’ll resume teasing and nót show the pictures of the falls but talk about The Boma.

“Talk about what?” I hear you think.. Let me introduce the concept of Boma to you. Imagine a fantastic setting (Victoria Falls Safari Lodge) with yummy game and ‘traditional’ dancing with some surprising elements.

Upon arrival we were each given a customary cloth to wear during the evening. The mood was set; we were ready for commercialized Zimbabwean culture & food!

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After a delicious appetizer (including crocodile), we were invited to use the buffet and try out kudu (antelope), beef, warthog, boerwors, guinea fowl and more. Delicious fish and goat was roasting and fresh salads were readily available.

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We all had ear-to-ear smiles on our faces for it was só good! My favourite was the warthog steak. Yum! To spice up the place a little, dancing and singing followed. It was then that Chris and Tim wanted to go local, be brave and show their manhood with trying out a traditional dish in Zimbabwe. Marlowe and I politely declined.

Holding my camera as a weapon in front of me, I followed the men to the very table I gave a wide berth earlier in the evening, with the “Mopani Worm Dish”. Africans eat many types of insects, and the most widespread one is the Mopani worm. This is a caterpillar –hanging in Mopane trees–of the emperor moth and is highly nutritious and a good source of protein.

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The dark greyish looking fried worm did not look appetizing, but both men went ahead. (Though I think I detected some sweat beads and nervous breathing..) Tim chose to go first.

Anxiously he tried to find a “redeeming flavour” in this dish as he said afterwards. According to any psychologist, people looking out of the corner of their eyes are stimulating the creative part of their brain. Clearly, Tim was searching and searching!

Candidate number two, Chris, also bravely accepted his Mopani worm. I’m not sure if I was ever so rude before and burst out in laughter with someone disliking his or her food as I did then. The pictures below tell the story of Chris’ fling with the Mopani worm!

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While the boys recuperated, I dug into what I call “Hemelse Modder”. When I was a child, my mom made the best dessert ever: homemade chocolate mousse that Dutch folks endearingly call Heavenly Mud (it sounds so much better in Dutch!). I never tasted it anywhere else and have not had it in many a year, until here in Zimbabwe. Who would have thought?

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So when you are in Victoria Falls and feel like a funny and yummy evening out, go Boma! My next blog post will finally share nature’s beauty with you. I also wrote about getting to Victoria Falls and its hippos!