Pretzels and African Man Flu…


Madeleine: I hear the now very recognisable rattle of a tuk tuk pulling into the apartment compound, Lucas screams “tuk tuk” like he’s not seen one in years, runs to the chair in front of the window and hauls himself up to peek out. He points with a look of amazement on his face.  I think of the box we carried our groceries home in the other day… an idea is born.  Two hours later whilst Andrew and Ailsa are out in the field, Lucas and I with a good load of glue and a bit of book-binding tape and scissors make Lucas’s very own tuk tuk. As we glue and stick, I encourage him to be patient before he gets in it, finally the moment has come when he can open the door and wriggle his body in. He screams “tuk tuk” and begins his drive. We had a small over turned tortoise moment but it didn’t last for long and he is back on his feet racing around! Admittedly I still have that hidden desire to be a Blue Peter presenter!


After lunch, Lucas and I arrive to cheer on daddy and auntie Ailsa who is visiting the field to experience the eye work in action.  Lucas runs ahead “Daddy, Daddy”, he greets the study team each with a ‘gota’, our equivalent of “gimme some skin”, each time he smiles with delight at the responses and eagerly looks over at Divina who is just fitting some glasses. He wants his gota. As he hears Daddy’s voice he turns “da deee”and he runs over.   He has learnt to say “ant-ee” and checks around each corner to check if Ailsa is there, he’s even been following her to the toilet and watching her dry her hair, it so cute!

Lucas is really beginning to talk and he has a wonderful cheeky smile.  “Cheese” “cam-mee” (Camembert), “oo-li” (and a wibbly of his tongue, (olives), “burp-pee” ( butter) “app-el”. I am so enjoying this time.  I think he is picking up on the cooking, he was reaching up on tip toes to put pots on the cooker, opening the cupboard and getting plates out and following me around the kitchen today.


The bakery plans are progressing we have been visiting proposed sites and working on the plans. Joseph and his family live here at the apartments, he is an architect and has offered to draw all the building plans up for free, not only that but he is in the process of buying land and has offered us the land for free as it will be a not for profit venture to support the local community. Amazing!

I’m not really sure why I made pretzels, I think I just like learning new things.  It is very satisfying pulling them out of the oven with that slight roasted sesame smell and golden finish.


Andrew: My body is aching all over and my stomach doesn’t feel right. Madeleine and Ailsa have already left for their 6.15am run and I’m on the toilet for the 4th time in 30 minutes. I’m meant to be out in the field again today but I picture myself in my current state trying to examine patients whilst regularly running to the local latrine. I break in to a cold sweat and collapse back in to bed. I make a quick phone call and postpone the days work. I doubt it is Malaria as I’ve hardly been bitten, but more concerning, this could be man flu…

Yesterday’s field day went well but I have been feeling my energy levels dropping in the last few weeks and I had the feeling I might hit a brick wall soon. If it weren’t for the regular baked treats I think my energy would have long since dissipated.

10 down, 90 to go….

Pretzels Recipe

taken from ‘Crust’ by Richard Bertinet


400g fermented white dough

(Prepare this the night before, mix 4g dry yeast, 500g strong white flour, 6g salt and 350g water and knead until a smooth dough, then place in to a lightly floured mixing bowl and cover, either leave out for 6 hours or put in the fridge overnight or for a day).

500g strong white flour

4g dry yeast

15g caster sugar

7g salt

50g unsalted butter

100g milk

100g water


1. Mix all the above ingredients together and bring together into a stiff dough, cover with cling film and leave to rest for 1 hour.

2. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions 100g each.

3. Roll each piece to about 25 -30cm long rolls, bend into a heart shape by bringing the two ends to the centre, crossing the right end over the left, bringing it back underneath, then laying the ends either side of the point of the heart.

4. Lay the pretzels on a baking sheet or floured silicone sheet, glaze with egg wash and leave to prove for 45-60mins.  When nearly proved turn the oven on to 250C

5. Glaze again with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds and or rock salt. Put into the oven and turn the heat down to 230C.  Bake for 10-12 minutes until dark and golden brown.

6. Cool on a wire rack.


5 thoughts on “Pretzels and African Man Flu…

  1. Baz, make sure you put your feet up, it’s a nasty business this man flu.

    Lucas is so cute, and Mads, with your culniary abilities along with that tuk tuk, you’re a shoe-in for the next Blue Peter presenter!!!

    Lot of love to you all!

  2. Get well soon Bro!
    Mads – excellent work on the tuk tuk, it looks amazing, as do the pretzels.
    Lucas – well done and being the cutest baby in the history of time.
    Ailsa – hi, hope you’re having a great time out there

    Miss you all, can’t wait to see you soon! xxx

  3. Love from nina to lucas 😉 heard yr voice bro thks for calling lets try this weekend. So much to share!!! Meantime the 3 of us are ok and happy!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s