What’s for dinner?

This is a question that I’m pretty sure the Sudanese rarely ask.  Their meals almost always consist of an easy to obtain starch like rice or posho, greens fried with onions and tomatoes, and a sauce.  Sometimes they have beans and a couple of times a week they may have meat- chicken, beef, or goat.  When I asked about cheese I was told that you can’t even buy cheese in Yei!  As you can imagine, this new diet is taking a bit to get used to.  Although it is easy enough to find the ingredients it takes a lot more muscle to make.  The two main kinds of posho are maize flour and cassava flour.  To make either, they start with grinding the maize or cassava into a fine powder.  Then they put the flour over heat and add some water and begin mixing with a stick or a paddle.  They mix and they mix and they mix while it is over the heat and also when it is not.  When the posho is finished it has the consistency of very dense dough.  The posho is eaten by pulling off a bit with two fingers and the thumb, rolling it into a ball, and then using your thumb to shape it into a scoop for the sauce.  The whole thing is done using only three fingers from your right hand.  I have not yet mastered this and will stick with a spoon for a while!  Evening after evening as we sit down to our meal, which has very often consisted of rice, fried okra, and beans or a sauce, and we talk about how fortunate we are in the United States to have so much variety and so many choices.  I have seen so many people who are thankful that their bellies are simply full.  We have found ourselves laughing at the breakfast table when one of us asks the Sudanese who dine with us which type of jam they prefer.  Choice is not something these people are used to and they definitely won’t squawk if we hand them mixed berry jam rather than the orange marmalade!  So I’m slowly learning to not take for granted that at the end of the meal my belly is full.



One thought on “What’s for dinner?

  1. As always, it’s good to hear from you. How are you adjusting to the limited meats? I think that is what I take for granted, I wanted to the most. But it is simply our abundance of everything that keeps us ignorant about true hunger. I cooked for the Soup Kitchen today and probably had enough to feed a village in Sudan.
    I marvel at your ability to adapt to what is put before you. You sound happy and that makes me happy.
    I continue to be busy with my day to day activities. My calendar is full and I’m managing it. I’m doing a fund raising event for EUM’s Soup Kitchen Pantry in mid August. This is kind of a one man band and that’s how I like it. No one is complaining or begging to be allowed to do it so I guess it’s OK.
    We have a new Pastor at EUM. He is Bill’s polar opposite and will take some time to get used to him. I think he will open some new doors and I think that’s good.
    I’ll not rattle on. I love you.

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