About a month ago, my Filipino neighbours and fellow VSO volunteers and I started a breakfast club for the kids in our neighbourhood.
It’s pretty simple. Every Saturday morning, we make them a decent breakfast that isn’t maize based! The nsima which pretty much all Malawians eat as their main (and often, only) food, is a heavy carbohydrate that is very low on nutrition. So the idea is that we feed them a nicer alternative as a regular treat and supplement to their normal diet. Also, we can introduce some good habits to them. Such as washing their hands before eating. And soon, we’ll give them toothbrushes and toothpaste too. Any Colgate or Oral-B reps out there reading this, please get in touch!
We began 3 weeks ago. That weekend, we had some other British volunteers from our October 2012 group visiting. So between them and my neighbours, we had a small army of cooks! This came in very handy because it was the first week. So our small army of azunugu cooks made the (slightly overawed) kids pancakes with banana and maple syrup. Which I’m glad to say went down very well.
The second week, we had planned to cook them omelettes with bread. So come 7 am on Saturday morning, I got out of bed (on time) to prepare and somewhat foolishly decided at the last minute to do sausages as well. Partly because I fancied having some myself. So I start frying the sausages first. 5 minutes in… power cut! No one likes half cooked sausages, which coincidently, were beef sausages as opposed to pork ones. Decent pork sausages are rare here. Compared to the abundant beef ones anyway. My house-mate got up a few minutes (probably due to the noise I was making) and came to the rescue with his camping stove! So we managed to finish cooking the sausages and had it with some fresh bread I bought the day before.
The next week, I woke up to discover we had no electricity, again! So the plan to retry the omelette idea from the previous week got shelved again. This time, thanks to my ever-resourceful neighbours and their mbaula (locally made charcoal stove), we managed to boil some water and made an hard boiled egg with bread and a banana each for the kids.
Looking back at the way the kids have changed, I think they’re slowly getting used to the idea of this breakfast club. 21 days to create a habit and all that…
This Saturday… OMELETTE(!) with fresh bread (400 MWK for 2 loafs) and milk. Well, that’s the plan anyway!