Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Perplexing Botswana Observation #17

Yes, I do realize that I am bouncing around as I declare my perplexing observations (with my previous pronouncement being #586) but, like I said before, I have plenty of time to share them all so fret not! This is actually something I noticed during homestay that really baffled me and I had meant to share it at the time but was overwhelmed by everything else and failed. So here it is... People here eat bones.

I will give all of my American followers a moment to digest that statement (get it, digest, hehe)...

Now imagine that you're sitting with a group of people eating chicken. Generally, Americans will eat the meat off of the bone and then put the bone down on their plate with the intention of throwing it away later. I was startled on one of my first nights in Botswana when I noticed this was not the case here. Rather than reach for a wing when my host dad finished his drumstick, he chomped down on the bone and began to gnaw away at it. I kid you not. Nom nom nom, just like that. When I inquired, everyone in the family said it was "very nice" and soon they were all eating away at the bones. And then I learned it was not just my host family that did this but basically all Batswana. My Language and Culture Facilitator (LCF) also stated how delectable bone is and the staff at my NGO are always going to town on what I thought were throw-away scraps and questioning me on my reasons for not. (Um, how can I explain this? It's a bone!)

Now, besides the peculiarity of eating bones, I would have also thought it'd be somewhat dangerous considering how strong bones are and how delicate innards are but I see very old Batswana wandering around so it seems they haven't died of internal bleeding from bone shards. Wow. (Note: they also feed bones to the dogs, which is something I was told my whole life not to do because it was a choking, bleeding, potential death hazard... dogs are also quite alive and well here despite this act.)

Overall, it's quite perplexing to me. I mean, who woulda thought?!

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