You don’t pay things with money, you pay for things with hours of your life! It was my first week in Africa when we went to visit a private school near the town Bungoma with the local priest. On the way back home we stopped to meet relatives of our driver and his family was so kind to give us a present – A big brunch of Plantain (bananas which you can cook). I was truly surprised because I didn’t know there is a special sort of bananas that you can cook (with similar taste of sweet potatoes) and it was also really quite a great gesture from the part of this family that were having 11 kids, showing that much hospitality. In Kenya something that really gained my respect is that no matter there was no big variety of types of food on the market, what was out there was in abundance, and people (even strangers) wouldn’t mind to share it with me, even though I wasn’t local. In my host family the members were also very kind and every day without searching anything in return, they were sharing with me everything they had on the table! It was really great and positive experience because sometimes I had the possibility to stay in the kitchen and cook with the women in the house learning the native African traditions. Actually later on, the bruch of bananas gave us food for at least one month while I was there and it was extremely nutricious and tasty. This is how a normal everyday lunch in the house looked like. You can see cooked bananas with some tomatoes on the left and simple boiled rice and lentils on a side. Many African families usually don’t have often meat and fish on their tables because for the middle class family these products are quite expensive. A couple of times during my stay I had the possibility to try some fish (because I don’t eat any kind of other meat) and it was nice. The price in a simple restaurant was 2-3 euros for a portion of fish with some vegetables, but many people cannot afford to eat outside because usually their monthly income is no more than a hundred euros. During my stay I didn’t have any negative food experience or stomach problems and I didn’t mind to taste different things in the village. One of the few things I resisted to try were the bugs I saw people were selling on the streets in Bungoma. When I asked my host about them he just smiled and said that they are extremely nutrious and people love them. Another interesting thing I saw about food during my stay was that many people sell it directly outside. Even though I was curios, my dear host Silas advised me not to try it because it can be dangerous for my health, being exposed on heat and insects all day long on the local market. There were also many kids on the road, selling some fruits for petty cash so they can have some pocket money that their family has no possibility to provide. I was really skeptical to buy from them because in my point of view it is a form of child labour, but on second thought I decided not to be judgmental because the kids make this on their own will. Sincerely Kenya made me very modest about food, because for a month I tried not to «cheat» with foreign food and I ate only what we was usually preparing in the children’s home I’ve worked for or in the house I was living. It was a luxury when we had eggs in the house but I was quite happy because there were a plenty of my favorite fruits that were affordable for Africans like avocados (30-40 cent for a huge one), bananas, passion fruits, mangos and pineapples. One thing that I will never forget is that during my stay once in a week when I had time I was going to the central supermarket to buy some biscuits (for my hosts) which were very huge and tasty for its cost – 45 cents each. I remember how the fist time I offered Mercy (my host’s wife) one biscuit she told me that she has never eaten a whole biscuit in her life. Then adding that they are too much of a treat and she would feel guilty to spent money for it, just for her own pleasure, not sharing it with her kids or husband. I am telling you this story, my dear readers, not to seek your pity, but to make you think about how blessed we are, no matter if we have little or a lot, a lot. There is a saying that half of the world is starving and the other half is on a diet. And I believe that the secret of happiness for us people living in more favorable circumstances is just to be modest and not to exaggerate with our food so we can prevent the enormous waste of over consumption we are making every day. Every one wants just one more. One more biscuit, one more drink, one more treat, one more satisfaction. But at the end we are unhappy and even worse we suffer from diseases and obesity caused by our own gluttony. So I am just asking you- next time rather than “one more” you better share your one and only biscuit with somebody you love and appreciate. Share with someone that needs your help, because remember “You don’t pay things with money, you pay for things with hours of your life!” Use them wisely! Love, Paris
That place looks amazing, everyone seems so happy.
Do you volunteer through an agency or do you set it all up yourself?
I’ve been wondering how hard it would be to eat vegan in a volunteer homestay environment. Would they be offended if I didn’t try something because of the animal products?
Keep up the blogging you’re doing a great job.
LikeLiked by 1 person