Karyn wanted to make sure we didn’t leave South Africa without one true South African tradition – a Braai. A Braai is similar to a BBQ or a cookout. Her parents Margie and Steve have Braai down to an art form. At their house in the backyard, Steve built a homemade bar, a brick wood burning fireplace, and covered the whole thing with a thatched roof. The wood they use in the Braai is very thick and heavy, it’s called steel wood. It’s not used to start the fire but once the fire is going a few logs are thrown on and they burn very hot and very long.
While the fire was burning we enjoyed Castle, a South African beer, biltong – a dried beef almost like beef jerky, deewors – another dried meat, more like a sausage, and potato chips. The atmosphere was relaxed and we were treated like family, it felt something like being on the river at the Kodiaks. Steve, the grill master, cooked chicken, lamb chops, and boer wors – a sausage kind of like bratwurst (I guess). Margie made a salad that included avocado, raisins, sunflower seeds and a homemade dressing. She also made pap. Pap is a traditional African food that is something like cornmeal. It’s served with a tomato-like stew that you pour over the top. Everyone ate and drank their fill. It was more food than even Chad could finish. Before we knew it we had to go to the airport and our South African vacation was coming to an end. What a fantastic way to end our trip. Having only met them the day before we felt as if we were leaving our very good friends.