Here’s the link for people who want to support me on Patreon:
My friend, David (who I talked with about math and evolution on previous blogs, links are below.) went on a backpacking trip in Africa recently. This is his story of the experience of other cultures.
This is the eleventh blog in part 2 of this series. Here is the link for the page where the others can be found:
June 15, The Milk Lady:
The day after the safari was a day with few events. Breakfast started late, and our ride arrived during it. So we had to wait for breakfast until later, and go on to the milking and buttering demonstration.
After a half-hour-long dalla dalla ride, we reached a small farmland in what looked like the bush. A herd of cows were penned up in a natural enclosure of plants. The cows’ owners showed us how the milking was done, in the same way that they had previously showed me on the island. First, they released the calf from a smaller thornbush enclosure and let it run to its mother. Then the assistant, the young son of the buttering lady, held back the calf while she milked the cow.
After taking turns milking the cow, we headed to the home of the lady who makes the butter. The environment of the government-built home she lived in was very welcoming. We took our shoes off and sat on a large living room floor. There were nothing there but stucco walls, straw carpets, and a small, round display of containers in the corner of the room. They used those to store the milk.
We sat in a circle under the zinc-sheet roof as the lady demonstrated how each of the containers are filled with smoke. This was used to add flavour to the milk, using grass wicks. Then the lady passed around one of the smokey containers with milk in it for us to have. Stella was the only one of us who drank a full glass of it. Then the milk lady demonstrated how butter is made by putting the milk in a dry gord and shaking it for one hour. This is a job reserved only for women in Rwandan culture.
Meanwhile, Kyle, Alessandra and I were drawing with the younger girl of the household while the ladies had their shot at shaking the gord. The lady seemed to enjoy the experience as much we did as she laughed at the funny moments that we all shared.
Unfortunately, we left early so we could have breakfast. We were starving since we had missed it that morning.
Later that afternoon, we stayed at the hostel, and hung out at Hans’ restaurant that was at the bottom of the hill. Claudia, Sarah Bell and I went for a walk with Hans until we had to head back because he had customers.
Later, Claudia stayed at the hostel while Sarah Bell and I went for a walk by ourselves. We carried a 1.5 litre bottle of a ginger drink that was supposed to be healthy. Along the way, many local children started to follow us. They held our hands, and were happily and playfully tagging along with us. We walked for about half an hour into a part of town that seemed to look similar to the rest of the places we had been. Homes and small business lined the sides of the dirt road.
Eventually, we had to turn back because we had a session with the group. We headed back with the children in hand. After we arrived at Coco Park restaurant, next to Hans’ place, the session soon started. It involved hearing an opinion about an experience, such as whether volunteering usually payed off. We also split into four groups of people who either agreed or disagreed with the opinion. We then did one on one sessions in the gazebos to briefly explain what our ITT plans were going to be.
After that, we had dinner. That morning, we had eaten a late breakfast and promptly followed that with lunch. So we were still too full for dinner. No one in the group finished their meals. Leftovers flooded the containers that we borrowed from Hans.
What followed in the next few days was not pleasant. We never found out if it was caused by the food or a bug. But the next few days took a turn for the worse.