More bread stories from Kenya and Uganda
When my husband Aaron was a fourth year medical student, we got to spend six weeks in an historic hospital called Kijabe. It is north of Nairobi and staying there was our first time in Africa, where we dreamed of living one day. Our son was eighteen months and as you can see, we are over the moon to be there. For you medical people, Aaron actually turned in his match list for residency at an Internet cafe in Nairobi. I have never prayed so much that electricity would hold as I did during that time period!
I am quite embarrassed that our son looks feverish and we look ecstatic. It was our first safari and even though Micah caught chicken pox, we did not leave the trip early! When we got back, many of the staff moms who were in a play group asked us to come so their children could catch the chicken pox and get immunized. Hard core cross cultural mamas! I was semi prepared to go and cook, but I really did not know what to expect. When we first arrived, people had us over for meals. Otherwise, for a few weeks, I think we lived on crackers and granola bars. Each house on the hospital compound came equipped with a kitchen and this awesome cook book called “Out of Kijabe” It was so encouraging because it had stories and drawings and tips from all these women who had come before us to cook for their families. They were also the names on gravestones—generations of women who had come and gone. It was very meaningful for me. I was tempted to steal the cookbook, but I didn’t. Many years later, when we moved to Uganda, I had brought cookbooks by Mennonites who know how to source locally and make food from scratch. There was a priest who was retiring and she offered for people to come and get movies or DVD’s and stuff if we wanted. You can imagine my surprise when I saw this book on her shelf! I could not believe it. There was also a Texas cookbook that I had sent as a gift with Aaron when he visited a few years before. It was so funny that I sent that Texas cook book with my husband as a gift and then, years later, I am getting that cook book back from someone leaving! You can call it karma, but I know that God also says when you delight yourself in Him, he will give you the desires of you heart. Sometimes, you don’t even know what those desires are, but He never forgets and helps me remember. I brought this cookbook home with me and still cook out of it from time to time. I have written in other posts that using these books helps me bridge past experiences and this is no exception.
I have written before about bread because there are some cultures in the world that just don’t do western style bread. It was so easy and satisfying to make these breads and to add them to the rotation so we did not get bored of the same type each week. It was also a joy to teach our house help to make these breads and I hope in the future help her resume. Many Ugandans have to supplement their income due to the lack of job opportunities. This was genuinely encouraging to me to think that God cares about these details of my life. Not only that, but others benefitted from the desire for bread. One for me, one for you is always a good principle!