Sadly, I failed to take photos, but my students and I made pizza with my students with the help of Rachel and Hannah (Alexander). It was so much fun! We did everything from scratch, except the pepperoni and mozzarella. (We actually managed to get some real pepperoni from America! Jen had some that someone had sent her.) And everything was a completely new experience for the students. From what they were saying, it was their first time in a house like what we would call a house.
We mixed the dough, peeled and seeded the tomatoes and fried onions to make the sauce, grated the cheese and cut up a pineapple. It was fun to see their fascination with different utensils, especially the egg beater. They took turns to using it to smooth out the tomato sauce. I would have loved to have seen their reactions to a food processor! Another funny moment was when Bamus was stirring the onions and garlic on the stove. “Madame, I have heard of something called shock…am I….?” Basically, he was worried that he would get electrocuted while he was using the stove top. (And yes, it weirds me out every time they call me madame. But as many times as I’ve tried to get them to call me Elizabeth, it just won’t happen. *sigh*)
When they tried the pizza, they were a little apprehensive, but eager. They liked it a lot, and it brought up so many questions. They asked about food in America, and if this was what we ate all the time. From there the questions went to school and whether pay for secondary school and upwards or not. There were questions about geography and population, electricity and so on. Bamus asked how many people lived in America, if there were many remote places that didn’t have electricity. I think they were a little stunned when I reminded them that there are 50 states in America, and there are approximately 30 million people just in the state that I live. (Is that right?) In the whole country of Malawi, there are about 14 million people.
After lunch, we cleaned up, and the guys were good sports about helping to wash dishes. They did get rather side tracked by the microwave though! We finished cleaning, and then sat and talked and looked at pictures on my computer (another new thing for them). Then it was about time to go to class, so we headed our separate ways. Even though they had eaten a good deal of pizza, their meal wasn’t complete. For a Malawian, you haven’t eaten unless you’ve eaten n’sima. (N’sima is a cornmeal dish rather like really thick hot cereal. You eat it with your hands and scoop up sauce or beans or whatever with it) So they headed to the school kitchen to grab their proper meal before they came back to class. I guess a cultural experience is one thing, but proper food is another!