I'm trying to write more about my experiences outside of work because most of the time when people ask me about my life here they ask about work so I don't get to talk about the other things. This time I'm going to write about food (aka dijo in Setswana)
Meat Pies are a big deal here. I'm guessing because of the British influence? Anyway, they are almost everywhere. You can get a meat pie in one of the tiny shops in my village, at grocery stores in larger villages, and at some bus stops. There are even stores like Mr. Pie Man and Pie Time that sell only meat pies. Basically, they are little breaded pockets of meaty deliciousness. They come in the form of plain chicken, chicken perri-perri(spicy chicken), Russian (sausage), or steak and kidney. I'd recommend the chicken perri-perri. My PCV friends here laugh at me because when we were in training in Kanye I was meat pie obsessed. I didn't eat a lot at my host family sometimes and was hungry so I'd look forward to some meat pie. I probably gained a few meat pie pounds during training. Luckily, I only eat them now and then when I travel these days and have lost my meat pie weight haha.
Simba chips are a brand of potato chips that are popular here in Botswana. You can find them in almost any little shop, and they are pretty cheap. Many of them are meat flavored. I like the salt and vinegar ones. Whenever I plan an event in my village for the students I usually end up with sandwiches and Simba chips to give them for lunch.
Cool Time is a delicious and refreshing ice pop/slushy type of snack that is sold at every bus stop area in Botswana during the summer. People will walk around the bus and come onto the bus trying to sell Cool Time. Sometimes there is nothing better than slurping on some Cool Time when it is 110 degrees and you're traveling on a crowded bus.
Most of the ice cream (or maybe all) in Botswana is not "real" ice cream made with dairy. Instead, it is made with oil substitutes and sugar. When I first got to Botswana I thought it tasted weird, but now if I am somewhere that actually has ice cream during the summer I'm all over that. I've actually kind of come to appreciate some fake ice cream in my life.
I wrote back when I first got here about some of the Setswana foods. I've really come to love a couple of Setswana foods like seswaa and morogo. Seswaa is pounded meat. I've helped make it twice before. You cook the meat and then you pound it until all of the meat is broken off of the bones and is shredded until small pieces. It takes a while to make, but it is yummy. You can make it with beef or chicken. Morogo is a bit like spinach, and is delicious. I like to put some vinegar on mine.
If you are reading this you're probably thinking "Damn, most of that (minus the meat and morogo) doesn't sound very healthy", and you would be right. Luckily, these are not things that I eat all of the time. My every day diet usually consists of things like rice, pasta, a lot of spinach, tomatoes, beans, apples, carrots, and sometimes potatoes. I also eat a lot of eggs for protein as well as granola and peanut butter. I've become a better cook here, and I've learned how to make some creative meals with few ingredients.