The Beat of an African Drum

Hakuna Matata, we leave for Africa in less than two weeks!  I can hardly believe that 9 months have already passed since I accepted the offer to intern for Nu Skin in Malawi, Africa, and only 4 short months have passed since Andrew too decided to join the adventure (when we were married on December 20th in the Logan, Utah Temple.)   We have spent hours and hours planning for our trip and I can honestly say that we have loved every minute of it.

To accompany our nightly Africa planning sessions and satisfy our desire to become Michelin-Star chefs, we have spent the last several months since we have been married exploring and cooking the flavors of Africa.  As I share with you our plans for Africa, allow me to satisfy your tastebuds with delicious recipes along the way…

First & Second Destination – Uganda & Rwanda

_MG_7309Photo: Ugandan Rolex (omelete stuffed chapati)

Our first glimpse of Africa will be from the window of the Boeing 747 (jk the plane will be much smaller) as we descend upon Kampala, Uganda.  Our desire to go to Uganda came about from the realization that the last 8 gorilla families lived within the dense jungles of this country (as well as Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.) Since that moment we have made all the necessary plans to trek 3000m in the mountains of Bwindi National Park and observe for ourselves, these magnificent creatures.  Since I was a young child I have always been fascinated with Jane Goodall, the UK-born, world-famous gorilla scientist.  She also happened to be the inspiration for the movie Tarzan, hence Tarzan AND Jane.

To celebrate the fact that we will be leaving for Uganda in just a few short days we invited my friend Stephanie Dowdle over, who spent several months in Uganda several summers ago, and she taught us go to make the Ugandan street-famous Rolex… After our time in Uganda we will continue with our local friends on our bus route to Kigali, Rwanda.

Third & Fourth Destination – Kenya & Tanzania

_MG_7555Photo above: Tanzanian Mtuzi wa Samaki (fish curry)

When I was a little girl I only new that one country existed in Africa, and that was Kenya. In my mind Kenya was a dream full of giraffes, lions, monkeys, elephants, and jumping people.  Little did I know that one day I would actually venture there…

Our flight from Kigali to Nairobi will take us directly over the Serengeti in Tanzania and Kenya, which from what I have heard is a beautiful sight to see from above.  When we land in Nairobi, we will be picked up by Mr. Robert and head straight for the Kenyan Serengeti.  Our safari will take us  to the Maasai Mara, the part of the Serengeti where not only the animals roam but also the Maasai Tribe (known as the jumping people.)  For a want-to-be Nat Geo photojournalist, this is going to be quite epic.

After our time with the Maasai and the Serengeti we will head via bus to Arusha Tanzania, the destination that Andrew has been looking forward to since the beginning of our planning. What makes Arusha so special is that it is the starting point for all the Climbers heading up the south face of Kilimanjaro.  On May 7, that is going to be us!

The climb takes 6 days and is actually quite rigorous (only roughly 40% make it to the top) and at the end of climb we are prepared to be very sore… but please don’t worry, we have reserved plenty of R&R time after.  As the spice girl, how can I leave Tanzania without visiting the Swahili coast, home of the first African spice trade?  It just so happens that the Swahili coast is home to some of the most beautiful beaches and delicious restaurants in all of Africa…  Try out this recipe for Mtuzi wa Samaki (fish curry) from Swahili Coast to know what I am talking about.

Fifth Destination – Malawi

_MG_7484Photo: The best Malawian cuisine pulls heavily from outside influences; & from what I hear the best restaurant in the Capital City is actually an Indian Curry shop.  To satisfy your tastebuds, here is Andrew and I’s favorite curry recipe – Vegetable Korma.

After spending nearly four weeks exploring Eastern Africa, we will finally settle down in Malawi, Africa for nearly three months.  We will be staying with a local couple arranged for us by Nu Skin, Professor George and Miss Flossy.  During our stay in Malawi we will be traveling all across the country to visit small farming villages — attempting to understand the distribution of leadership and agricultural skills from the inner-city to the bush.  This research will serve as the basis of my analysis for Nu Skin and Honor’s Thesis…

We have already determined that we have exactly 10 weekends in Malawi, and we intend to take full advantage of each of them.  Let me give you a glimpse…

Weekend 1:  Chase elephants from the back of a horse

Weekend 2:  Find a hippo in Lake Malawi

Weekend 3: Join a tribal dance with the Chichewa witch doctor

Weekend 4: Hike Mount Mulanje & eat street mice on a stick

Weekend 5: Ride an Ostrich & swim in Devil’s pool (Zambia)

Weekend 6:  Let merekats stand on our heads in Namibia

Weekend 7-10: coming soon…


Sixth and Seventh Destination – Zambia & Botswana

_MG_7403Photo above:  Botswana cabbage relish, beef stew, and Nsima (cornmeal mush)

What I have discovered during my time researching Eastern African cuisine is that there are four main ingredients in EVERY dish: onions, tomatoes, leafy greens…and corn. People in Malawi, Botswana, Zambia, and Zimbabwe LOVE boiled cornmeal.  In Malawi it is called Nsima, in Zambia it is called Shima, in Zimbobwe it is called Sadza, and in Botswana it is called Ugali.  Don’t be fooled, it is THE EXACT SAME THING, ground corn and water boiled until it turns into a thick paste.

While I haven’t fallen in love with cornmeal mush just yet, I have developed a love for the cabbage relish they eat with it.  Try it for yourself and I am sure you will find it quite tasty.

During our week  visit to Zambia and Botswana we will be traveling through Lusaka, Livingstone, and Chombe, riding ostriches, swimming in Devil’s Pool at Victoria Falls, and visiting the largest merekat reservation in Africa (think Timon and Pumbaa.)


Eighth and Ninth Destination – Mozambique & South Africa

_MG_7281Photo above: Mozambique piri piri chicken

When my internship draws to a close in the beginning of August, Andrew and I will head south to spend some time in Mozambique and catch our flight home from South Africa. I am already looking forward to the portuguese food, such as piri piri chicken (pictured above.)  Andrew knows how much I love Portuguese EVERYTHING, especially Portuguese food… During our time in Mozambique, we will visit the beautiful mountains of Tete, the blue glow plankton on the shores of Beira, the Portuguese colonial architecture in Maputo, and eat lots of delicious African-Portuguese flavors.

We end our trip in Johannesburg, South Africa.  We have only two activities planned for our stay in Johannesburg, but both activities are going to be incredible.  First, we will be attending a session in the Johannesburg Temple, and two, we will be dining at the finest Michelin-starred restaurant on the African continent – The Tasting Room.

We are excited to share our adventures with you as we travel so subscribe to the blog and stay updated!

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