A Girl Named Disaster Questions and Answers
by Nancy Farmer

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What is the name of the place where the men socialize and the women are not allowed?

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Hello! In 'A Girl Named Disaster,' we are told in Chapter 3 that Nhamo has just come back from gathering firewood. Her female relatives and the other women are busy preparing the evening meal. Although Nhamo is hungry, she does not dare help herself to anything. She knows that the men must be fed first, then her Grandmother and the little children.

No one speaks during meal-time as eating is a serious affair. Their dinner consists of mealie porridge (sadza) with tomato, onion and chili sauce, boiled pumpkin leaves and okra with peanut butter. When the meal is finished, Aunt Chipo tells Nhamo to fetch the men's bowls so that she can wash them outside. She heads off to the dare: this is where the men and boys socialize. Women are not allowed into the dare. As Nhamo is collecting the dishes, she becomes distracted by Uncle Kufa's story. He is telling the men and boys his favorite story about a disobedient girl who runs off with a strange man that her parents do not like. She is so caught up in the story and her own thoughts about the story that she fails to realize that she is still in the dare. Uncle Kufa raps Nhamo on the side of her head and tells her to get back to her chores as she is not allowed there.

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