Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cooking lessons and Packing for The Rainforest

We had to make another trip to the market to get the last few fresh things for our trip.  little red peppers that are quite hot, green beans, batteries for torches, bread, fresh tomatoes and eggs...which we will hard boil.  The market was bustling and the best thing I've heard all trip was when we declined to buy one ladies goods and  she cried 'oh I like it you are just eye shopping'!  

After the market we headed over to the Forudef offices where i gave the neighbour who we knew from last year and had cooked for us, a bag that i had bought from home along with some photographs of everybody taken on that trip and had printed. The whole family were overwhelmed, it was really nice to see them so happy, i obviously got it right on the present front! Gill (another beekeeper and a doctor in our group) and I then had a cooking lesson from the women where they showed us how they cook the beans and tomatoes, we had bought from the market, ready for the trip. The only problem was that four people prepared the food which our host Lucy then took 3 hours to cook! We had to leave the food simmering while we went to attend the bees...we will have to find a way to make the recipe quicker when we are in the forest.
For anyone interested the recipe consisted of the following: build and light a medium sized fire, place 3 large flat topped stones to rest the pot on around the flames, then sit on the floor and chop, wash and sort the vegetables (very time consuming without the mod cons of chopping boards, work-surfaces and sinks!), then add to water in the pan and cook for several hours. It made us realise how much you use a sink and running water when you’re cooking! and how wonderful it is to do all this standing up instead of on your knees in the dirt.

We wouldn’t be able to carry all our things into the rainforest and we needed to travel light in case we had to walk long distances (if the road/ vehicle failed us!) so we organised where we would leave things and what to take and organised where we would meet our driver for the journey which would start at 6am the day after tomorrow (all starts in Cameroon seem to be early ones!). To get from Mamfe to Ote is only about 50miles but the road runs out a short way form Mamfe so it will be mud tracks from there on out with numerous rivers to ford, so we expect that it will take about 6hours to get to Ote hence the early start.

We were all aware of what might be in the water, but Gill being a GP was most concerned about water borne parasites and pathogens we could easily encounter that could cause us severe problems when we are deep in the jungle, or even after our return to the UK, so we plan to avoid all contact with water on our trip including not to get out of the truck at all when we were crossing the rivers so as to minimise the very present risk.

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