Doing shift work is tiring, with nights and weekends taken up traipsing around wards tending to the sick. However, one of the positives is that you really appreciate a weekend off when it comes around.
Last weekend was busy for me, with a 36-hour shift from Saturday morning to Sunday night. This weekend was also busy, but in a different way.
Having been in Zambia for exactly one month, we thought it would be fitting to celebrate with a braai. Braai (rhymes with fry) is Afrikaans for barbeque, but the term is used across many Southern African countries. The concept is much the same as a traditional barbeque, a social gathering in the garden with drinks and plenty of meat. However, it differs from the UK here in that you don’t need to keep checking the weather forecast wondering whether to prepare an indoor ‘plan-B’, and the only reason you might need an umbrella is to shelter from the burning sun.
When hosting any event or party, there are things you need to do to prepare. Throughout the week, I noticed that Will had been wearing his baseball cap a lot. This meant that on Saturday morning, it was time to use the skills imparted by by Tony the barber. Will spent his morning at Nat’s Barber Salon, Katete. It went surprisingly well for my first solo attempt!
The rest of Saturday was spent shopping for food for the braai. We visited the market in Chipata to pick up a few things, but didn’t feel quite ready to buy our meat from the local butcher, opting for packaged meat from the supermarket instead.
Following the true Braai etiquette, I stuck to my kitchen duties with the other womenfolk (making the homemade burgers, marinating the chicken, slicing rolls, preparing the salad…) and left the men to cook the meat around the fire.
We all ate under the shade of our mango tree. We stayed out drinking and chatting all afternoon and as the sun lowered in the sky, we allowed our lunchtime gathering to carry on into an African sundowner.