Monday, March 29, 2010

Angolan Food: Desserts. Yum!

For the most part, dessert is not a part of the traditional Angolan meal. Most Angolan desserts consist of simple fruits, but there are also western-like puddings like Cocada amarela, which was inspired by the Portuguese cuisine; since Angola was previously ruled as a Portuguese colony, some of its food and cuisine owe much to the culture of Portugal.

Cocada amarela (yellow coconut) is the best known Angolan dessert and its main ingredients are: sugar, water, whole cloves, coconut, egg yolks and ground excellence.  The yellow color is derived from the abundance of egg yolks in the recipe. There are several recipes for this dish, but the differences between them are represented mainly by the cooking technique. Since Cocada amarela is a very sweet and heavy dessert, it is best served in small portions.  ENJOY!

Cocada Amarela

2 cups Sugar
4 whole cloves
12 egg yolks
6 cups water
4 cups grated coconut
ground cinnamon

Combine the Sugar, cloves and water in a 4 to 5 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil. Continue boiling and stir

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Angola's New War: Against TB

Wednesday March 24 marked 'World Tuberculosis Day' and during the Angolan celebrations the coordinator of the National Tuberculosis Programme, Conceição Palma, suggested for the Health Ministry to integrate this sickness as its priority project, as she considers it a national emergency.

The official added that tuberculosis must be considered as a primary health issue, because it is interlinked with HIV/AIDS, deficient feeding conditions and access to medicines.  Coordinator Palma informed that in 2009 alone, 42,380 cases of TB were registered throughout the country with the significant cities of Luanda and Benguela marking more than 30 percent of all cases.

Tuberculosis (TB) is a contagious disease. Like the common cold, it spreads through the air. Only people

Friday, March 19, 2010

Angola: The New Detroit?

Angola so far does not have any car producing industry, as contrasted to the major vehicle producer South Africa.  Major investing countries such as China and Germany are seeking to take advantage of the new resurgence in the country as well as the centralized oil wealth in Angola's capital, Luanda.

CSG Automovel-Angola, a new venture, is set to begin producing cars in October at a new factory in Viana, on the outskirts of Angola’s capital, Luanda. Using technology from Nissan, the plant will make passenger cars, pickup trucks, and SUVs. Expected to produce some 5,000 units in its first year, it should reach its full capacity of 30,000 within a few years.  Funded also entirely by the China International Fund, the plant will employ some 680 people, with 510 of the jobs reserved for Angolan citizens, an unusually high percentage for a Chinese project in Africa.

Volkswagen and its Angolan partner ANCAR have announced that they are to build an assembly plant in the

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ovimbundu Wisdom No. 3

More Ovimbundu wisdom.  Enjoy!

Proverb: Ukwenje Wang Kayula-Yula

Literal Translation:  My partner never gets wet.

Formal Meaning:  "What is the thing which has the shape of a person and never gets wet?  It is the shadow" (Ocilelembia or ocimbelembe).  Some external things cannot affect us.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Angola: An Emerging Haven for 'Birders'

For almost thirty years, because of the safety aspects of the civil war, Angola's highly sought after endemic birds like the Red Crested Turaco pictured above were beyond safe reach to all bird watchers.   Now, with the advent of safety and freedom of travel in the country, 'birders' or ornithologists can see the wealth of over 170 bird species which inhabit the country of Angola.  

Birders can view rarely seen birds such as Swierstra’s Spurfowl, Gabela Helmetshrike, Gabela Bushshrike, White-headed Robin-Chat, Angola Cave Chat, Pulitzer’s Longbill or Gabela Akalat. (To be honest, this is not my area of expertise, so I guess these are gold-mine sightings for the most serious birders!)  Here, I will try to show just a few of the beautiful, unusual and rare bird species of the country.

White-Fronted Wattle Eye

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Luanda Video; A Look at Angola's Promising Capital

A missionary friend has directed me to a new, vivid and exciting video about the city of Luanda, the capital of Angola.  Funded and produced by the Angolan Government, this video has a good overview of the country's past history and promotes the progress of the city.  Though the video highlights Luanda's promising future, there are still vast healthcare, infrastructure, social and spiritual needs in the remote south and southeastern parts of the country.  View the video here on this website.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Angola's Golden Sport

Though football (soccer) is listed as the 'national sport' of Angola and most all of the continent of Africa, basketball is more popular in Angola and the country is far better known for its basketball credentials than its football credentials.

Currently ranking 12th in the world, Angola is Africa's top basketball team having won eight of the last nine Africa Basketball Championships. The Angolan team recently sealed their reputation as a basketball powerhouse in the 2009 Africa Nations Basketball Championships, capturing their sixth straight Afrobasket gold medal, and their tenth in the last eleven tournaments.  This is a fantastic record, but it is more outstanding because several of these previous triumphs came when the country was embroiled in its civil war. 

The national team has consistently maintained a high global ranking to earn an invitation to the last five summer Olympic Games.  Their Olympic ranking during these last five Games ranges between 10th to 12th.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Angolan Agriculture: On the Rebound

Eight years after the end of a 27 year civil war, Angola' agriculture is slowly rebounding.  This is a marked turnaround from the decimation that this sector experienced during the war, given the potential of the rich and fertile land that Angola possesses.

Before independence from Portugal in 1975, Angola had a flourishing tradition of family-based farming and was self-sufficient in all major food crops; Angola was the world's fourth largest exporter of coffee; a competitive exporter of sugarcane, bananas, palm oil and sisal; and self-sufficient in all crops but wheat. But leading up to political changes in 1975, poor global market prices and lack of investment began to severely limit the sector after independence.

The Angolan Civil War (1975-2002), the consequent deterioration of the rural economy and neglect of the farming sector dealt the devastating blow to the country’s agricultural productivity. During the civil war, most small-scale farmers reverted to subsistence farming.  Angola has been dependent on commercial imports since 1977 and was heavily dependent up to the end of the war.  By the 1990s Angola was producing less than 1 per cent of the volume of coffee it had produced in the early 1970s, while production of cotton, tobacco and sugar cane had ceased almost entirely.

The war reduced the nation from being one of the largest food exporters on the continent to being a major recipient of global food assistance. For 30 years, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) conducted massive food aid assistance programs to feed the struggling population.  Even now, as the

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

African Folklore: Why Does the Lion Roar?

According to African folklore, the Lion became the most feared of the predators. In these early days, Lion still had a gentle voice, not very loud at all, and so he was able to catch and eat the other animals without much trouble.

This, of course, greatly worried the other animals, since they never knew when Lion was on the hunt. They decided to hold a meeting to find a way of somehow making Lion less dangerous. They talked for a long time, but none of them could think of anything.

Hare, always the imaginative one, then had a bright idea. "I know a way that would make Lion's voice like the terrible thunder of a summer's storm;' he said, "and then we would always know when he was coming:'

The other animals all agreed that this was a marvelous idea. But how was Hare going to manage such a thing? Hare just winked and set off on his difficult task.