Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Congratulations Kakenya!! This gave me goosebumps and just about brought me to tears. I love:

Nothing, though, had caused as much anxiety as the issue of food. At home, Ntaiya's diet varied little from day to day -- rice, beans, bananas, eggs, boiled kale, the dry cornmeal porridge known as ugali and the oily pancakes known as chapati. Occasionally there would be a pineapple or oranges, bought in Kilgoris, and beef or chicken, cooked in its own juices. Would she find these things in America? She doubted it.

"Kakenya says the food is not good," she said one evening over dinner. "Kakenya says there are many things that are very bad." Such as fish. And pork. And the uncooked leafy goat food that everyone called salad.

But Ole-Ronkei talked with them. He had spent many years in the United States, had learned how to pretend to eat salad so as not to offend his hosts, and he made two arguments to them about food: First, they wouldn't know it was bad until they tasted it, and second, how would they be able to answer all the questions about the food from their friends back in Enoosaen unless they tried it?

Dude. It IS leafy goat food. And how great is a culture where you eat things so that you can describe the experience to your friends and neighbors? THAT is a way of life I can get behind.


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