Although I am on the mend, I have been sick for nearly a week now (my first actual ailment since coming to Botswana) so I decided to make myself some hot soup and relax in hopes of getting myself back in tip-top shape by tomorrow. I recently acquired some delicious-looking (mailed from the States) soup packets from a PCV that just finished his service and thought they would make a great starting point to what would be a hearty soup. I then started cutting up onions and potatoes and corn to put in. About 30 minutes later, I ladled out a giant bowl of deliciousness.
Fast forward ten minutes and I look down at my partially eaten bowl of soup and realize that some of my herbs and spices look a little peculiar. On further inspection, I decide that, floating among the seasonings that were making my soup so tasty, were also little oblong bugs. I had a mini freak out (of the "am I going to make myself sick off the soup that's supposed to make me healthy" variety) and then proceeded to the kitchen with my bowl. What happened next is where this post becomes about standards... because, for the next two hours, I literally picked the bugs out of the giant pot of soup that was on the stove and put the remainder of the soup in a storage container. Doing this made me pause for a moment, however. I then walked over to my desk, grabbed a sticky note out, and wrote "Contemplate before eating" then affixed it to the soup-filled tupperware in my fridge. I mean, I did use a lot of good veggies in it... and it is cooked... and I did spend hours picking through to make sure there are no more bugs in it... Sigh.
When I told this story to two other PCVs from my group, neither seemed alarmed. One said it was extra protein and asked if I kept eating and the other said "you talking about bugs in your soup makes me want to eat soup". Oh how 14 months of living in the bush has changed us... TIA - This is Africa!