One day I want to be a chef
In August 2009, I applied for the training programme for trainee guides at the !Khwa ttu San Culture and education centre. I was so happy when I heard that my application had been accepted. On a sunny, but very windy day in November, I arrived at !Khwa ttu and I began with my training with nine other trainees straightaway. During my on-the-job training on weekends I also spend a bit of time in the kitchen.
I knew immediately that the kitchen is the right place for me. When I had my evaluation talk after the first three months with Magdalena, Ivan, Michael and Baba, I told them how much I enjoyed doing things in the kitchen. I was so happy when they allowed me to spend much more time there.
Since then, Vivienne, the chef has taught me many things. She showed me how to prepare chocolate brownies, fig tarts, crème brulé, apple tarts, zucchinis, couscous, quiches, and different kinds of breads. Now I am the one who is baking Focaccia Bread all on my own and I am very proud of myself. Vivienne is a real good chef. When she teaches me she focuses on me only.
The first day when I baked a loaf of bread it was a disaster. When I took it out of the oven it was flat like a pancake because I had not kneaded it enough. We all had a good laugh about that. By now, I show my fellow trainees how to bake a loaf of bread. They watch while I bake bread, so that they also learn how to do this.
Since a few weeks I am also responsible for the herb garden next to the kitchen. Axel Thoma, my botany trainer has already taught me how to prepare the soil for planting and how to seed parsley, dill and basil. Every morning I weed the garden for twenty minutes and water the plants. Yesterday I discovered the first few green leaves of the basil. That made me really happy.
Elrico Kooper, trainee guide and ‡Khomani man from the southern Kalahari, South Africa