Sunday, September 02, 2012

This Is Not A Food Blog...

...But I had to post about this meal I made because it made me very happy. I found "Mexican Spice" in one of the South African supermarkets and thought I'd give it a try. Bought some "mince" as they call it here, for all you N.Americans, that would be ground beef. Then I splurged on cheese, a fairly expensive luxury.

At home I fried up the beef, added the spice with some water. It was super spicy. But something was missing. I remembered from some recipes I'd seen online that cumin is a common taco seasoning ingredient so I added some cumin. Yup! That was the trick. I had to add some more water though because it was really spicy. Not a bad thing though.

I made some chapatis in place of tortillas. A chapati is an Indian flat bread fried in a little oil and they're lovingly eaten all over Uganda. There are little kiosks here, where you can buy chapati and beans, or fried egg rolled up inside one and they are really easy to make.

I was getting very excited. There are just times when I need to eat "home food." I love me some beans and rice, but today I wanted something different.

I even made some salsa, inspired by another mzungu friend living here. Chopped up tomatoes (first remove the skins for food safety reasons), onion, a little oil and some basil.

Finally, I added some plain yogurt in place of sour cream and voila! My tummy was super pleased! A successful meal made here in Kampala!


Friday, August 31, 2012

Ritual


Ritual: a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.


We sway, back and forth, back and forth. I am weary from a day filled with wiping noses, changing diapers, folding laundry, cooking dinner. But as she lays her head on my shoulder, slowly, slowly, falling into that sweet slumber, I hear the word, ‘ritual,’ and understand. I take a deep breath and give into it. This is our sanctuary, in the quiet, in the dim, in the in-between states of awake and sleep, letting the day’s drudgeries fall away and securing sacred within my soul. Her smile, her laugh, her discoveries, those tiny arms wrapped around my neck, fingers playing with the hair at the nape of my neck, they are liturgies of love.

I feel the shift. Another change, another developmental leap, another new world for us both to step into. She wants to feed herself, she can go get the ball when I ask her too, she is feeling things differently; her little spirit person is emerging daily as something so vulnerable; enchanting; entertaining! I look at her and wonder, hope, pray; beg for the wisdom to raise her up to be the person she needs to be.

Today was the start of an experiment. I am asking God, what I should do daily to make each day balanced, livable, special, and unique. Today, we went to play at our relative’s home, where they have a spacious, grassy yard. We visited with the maid, a lovely woman. She is so good with Grace. It was just nice to get out of the house, see something different, feel the outside air especially after a week of being sick and stuck indoors.

We went to buy some carrots and that task turned into a trip to the main market, to see our usual merchant who gave Grace a free mango.

We came home; I cooked supper, the day unfolded as usual…

I am hoping in doing this experiment, to find more purpose in my days or, perhaps, to realize that purpose already exists in the routine; I have just failed to recognize it.

Ritual: a series of actions or type of behavior regularly and invariably followed by someone.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A Love Letter To My Body

I was inspired (well, always inspired actually) by a friend who writes the most beautiful, touching, moving posts on her blog, exile fertility, to join in a synchroblog topic on loving our bodies through a letter. It was started by shelovesmagazine. I've never even heard of synchroblogging before and it's been ages since I wrote anything here and I love this topic so I'm in! Here is my love letter to my body.
 
Dear Body,
A few days ago, I was chatting with our taxi driver friend while we traversed the crowded streets of Kampala, about the amazing way you work behind the scenes to keep us alive and well and we hardly notice unless something goes wrong. Even at night, while we rest, you are hard at work and I so appreciate you!

You were busy from the very beginning as nurses and doctors whisked us away to perform emergency surgery on our tiny hours old body. I am so proud of you for pulling us through that!

I quite like you! We’ve been through a lot. I haven’t always loved you though. Remember how much we loved to dance and all the competitions we were part of and the medals we would win? The joy it was to feel so free in the movement? Remember how I began to compare you to the other girls’ slender bodies, while I carried around that extra baby weight? I am so sorry I quit dancing because I thought you were too chubby. You could have been a splendid dancer, maybe we could have made a career out of it. I’m glad you haven’t held it against me and we still dance, A LOT! I love you for that!

I am awed by how you cradled life within me for nine months. Watching how we shifted, grew, prepared to bring life into the world, was precious. I gingerly touch the c-section scar, now a year old, and I don’t blame you. I thank you. Thank you, for saving my life then and for saving hers now.

I see who you really are now: Magical.

I love the fleshy soft stomach; a reminder of how we carried life within us. I love the strong, stocky Norwegian legs which the South African women so greatly admired. I love the hazel eyes with the stars in them and the way the older I get, the more I see my mother in us.

Body, I hope I continue to give you the admiration you deserve, to keep dancing no matter how much of us wiggles and I promise to teach my daughter, to love her body too.

Body,
Thank you.