The main course


image courtesy NPR

A world in peril. Rebellious winds and persistent rainfall that foils your plans. A long agonizing hiatus away from my blog and a spanking new laptop i had just got from my sister. huff! Unexpected events that yanked me away from some rich plans i had, all of this on my mind and the sojourn in a desolate hopeless little town where men sit on shop verandas from morning to dusk-when the shops open. They sit there, sheltered from the sun sipping gin, playing some cards or other game, ludo-the old ones prefer only to talk to each other, looking at the road, watching chickens crossing the road and young boys riding bikes past; to Isimba  HEP project being built by the chinese. They wave at people they know and take their time talking to strangers they encounter in the area, a dusty town of old folk and young men who have come to find work.

It’s a drab life out here save for the cacophony of jukebox  bars and a wooden movie ‘theater’ with crackling sound and occasional staccato of gunfire emanating from the kind of movies popular with village youth yearning for excitement. They are war movie buffs. A friend of mine invited me out there and i stayed for a month, eating an unvarying diet of cornmeal bread and vegetables and beans. The weather changes have severely hurt the farmers all around. All the seeds they sowed dried up or sprouted but are now stunted with yellowing leaves. The only plant to survive is a sugar plantation next to the dam being built. The Chinese at the site like to eat pork and to smoke. They smoke all the time.

I thought in the world where we live, people are beginning to adopt to frugal habits. You know when you walk around with a righteous feeling looking around you to catch someone doing evil. It is hypocrisy to believe you are connected to mother earth then go behind other folks backs and snatch it’s prized babies and take them away somewhere to butcher and make stew out of them. For health reasons. Why pick on the precious Pangolin, why now? How about considerately developing a taste for some of those numerous bird species? Over time, who knows, you might come to love it so much your body takes a liking for it it craves and starts asking for it. Perhaps you might start raising them or turn it into sport hunting like they do, the English and have full fun. The Chinese, billions of them, held it down as a conservative society for a long time and had much respect as conscientious livers but some devil got into them and they have become materialistic and now love  living life lavishly. So they say in the papers.

But shouldn’t one ask themselves why as tasty as pork is and quite so dear especially to my country folk we call it ‘the national delicacy’-have the good old Chinese picked on the prized and rare Pangolin for choice meat regarded very highly now we either figure out plans how to ruin their party by killing their appetite for it or find somewhere to hide our precious Pangolins. Alas, the wise men from the east, now avid global investors so prized by government keep strolling in through our airport lobby, carrying a lot of love in their hearts! Woe to my clan, that’s our totem god knows where it will end. The Pangolin is scaled, very rare and shy and is an endangered species now being eyed by a burgeoning Chinese middle class gourmand eye. The scales and skin are used for medicine in china. I know you have heard a bowl of it so i will shhh. In other sad news, much of the old gold is gone or ailing, it bruises my heart and they are too many to name. Carry on brave ones, the sun is a mighty force and will not leave us soon, stay blessed.