Wednesday, September 7, 2011

We caught crabs!

Get your mind out of the gutter…we went crabbing and caught real crustaceans crab to make a delicious meal. Ok, so Friday afternoon while at work one of the nurses calls me over and asks me if I like to eat crabs. Do I like to eat crabs? I responded enthusiastically. I told her that I am pretty sure in another life I was some sort of sea creature because I love anything seafood, especially crabs. So she explained that in the month of August and September there are two types of crabs, Bok crabs and Bunduri crabs that start marching on the side of the marshes when the tides come up. Bok crab are red and a bit smaller and have tiny little hairs all over its legs and Bunduri crabs are really big and blue. So every year she and her family and friends take a bus load of people to a place called Morawhanna and go crab catching. So naturally, after explaining all of this, she could see the excitement on my face and she invited me. I quickly called Nate and told him that today we were to take a half day to go crab catching with some of our community members. He was in. We rushed home and changed into our stained clothes and filled our water bottles up and grabbed a bucket to head out on our crab hunting adventure. As soon as we got to the bus, we got made fun of because we looked like we were ready to go on a safari expedition and had a bucket instead of a bag to catch our crabs. I guess they climb out of buckets and that’s why you are supposed to take a bag. However, after being made fun of because of our bucket, guess what they used…yup our bucket. After a few giggles and exchange of names, we were on our way to Morawhanna.

It took about 45 minutes to get to Morawhanna and we had to get out of the bus on a few occasions to push it through the mud. Nate got douched with mud before we even got to our destination. We were in the middle of nowhere and we quickly started seeing crabs scurrying across the dirt muddy road to the water. The crew of people in the bus, we were about 20 people, crammed in as usual, jumped out of the bus and started running. I literally mean dashing down this muddy dirt road with sticks like crazy people chasing crabs. It was hysterical and extremely fun. We were so excited we forgot to put on our rain boots and started running barefoot in about two feet of mud. Needless to say, we had so much mud caked on our body when we got home that we needed to rinse off before going into our house and had to shower twice before we were able to remove all the mud.


We ran/ walked down this path for about 3 hours and dead ended at a river where there was a big boat that had been grounded and abandoned. We cleaned off our feet, well as much as we could, and got to sit on the boat and look at the gorgeous scenery, while our awesome tour guides started to boil a large pot of water on some logs they had chopped down.

About an hour later the pot was ready and they started to throw in all the crabs and cook them. We ate the crabs standing in the middle of jungle. It was kind of surreal. They taught us how to roast the backs and put some salt and raw pepper and eat the insides with cassava bread. It was different, but really good. I am pretty sure I ate my body weight in crabs that evening and that was just day one. We caught so many crabs we still had another bucket full when we got home.

The next morning one of our neighbors, who also works at the hospital, knew that we were going crabbing and came over to see what we had caught. She helped us clean all the crabs and prepare it to make crab curry. Each crab has a specific way of killing it and you have to scrap the hairs off the legs and brush the mud off the backs. She brought help, so we cleaned and prepped them rather quickly. Later that afternoon, we went to her house and she taught us how to cook crab legs and claws in a scrumptious curry sauce with white rice. We sat on her veranda, that’s what they call a porch here, for about three hours eating our very successful first crab catching experience. They don’t have crab forks or crackers here, so it takes a little longer when you are breaking the shell with your teeth and hands.

Our neighbor said that she enjoyed sharing in our “labor of love.” I would agree with her, it truly was a freakin “crab-tastic” labor of love.

Till next time.

1 comment:

  1. I laughed so hard at the first pic posted of Ilana in this post. So funny! Love reading your blog from time to time and checking up on your two. Glad there is no shortage of interesting things to do! mmmm crab curry!!