~*GrEaT wEeK*~ 02/25/05

Ok, so it has been almost an entire week since I last updated. This week has been amazing. It has been great building relationships with the two Aminas and the rest of Achmed’s family.

On Monday, Angela, Jemila and I went over to their house to get to know the women of the household a little more and to talk about learning to cook Somali. They ladies are all very sweet and very eager to get to know us; just as we are eager to get to know them. :o) We also learned the words that we needed in order to purchase the ingredients that we would need for making pilau (a savory rice with meat) on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, only Angela and I went to learn to make pilau. (We left Jemila home because her nap time would have been in the middle of making dinner.) We got their at four, but didn’t start to cook till about 4:30. We have found that it is polite to visit for a little bit before we do what we have come to do…which is fine with me. I don’t want our relationship to be based upon learning to cook from them. :o) It was fun trying to write notes regarding the amounts of ingredients and the “how to” of the dish. They don’t use measuring utensils, so we had to write amounts by what they compared to the most. We will see how well we did when we try to make it by ourselves. :o) It was pretty funny too when Achmed’s older sister, Amina, would come over to check on how we were doing with our particular areas. If we weren’t doing it exactly right or quick enough she would say “Let me show you” and then finish it much quicker and better. It is nice to see that the different personalities are really no different here. :o) Go type A! :o) Me and Angela had a good time with that though. The younger Amina, older Amina’s daughter-in-law, was much more willing to let us learn how. :o) While we were waiting for the rice to finish cooking in the dish we had a good time talking with the younger Amina. She told us a lot about the Islamic religion and the woman’s role in it. We learned a lot and had a good time discussing the differences and similarities of our beliefs. I loved that we could talk openly about Islam and Christianity without animosity. :o) Around 7:30 p.m. we were finally done and were able to bring our prize dish home to the rest of our starving team. Everyone enjoyed it! Yeah! Success! :o) The only problem is that we made enough pilau to feed our team with it for an entire week. :o)

On Wednesday, Angela was in Arusha so I went over to Amina’s by myself (and no, I did not travel by myself, Mr. Fredericks accompanied to the house and then went to Shukran to visit with Achmed). I got there around 10 a.m. while they were washing the floor. Older Amina told me to have a seat while they finished up. Achmed walked through and asked if we had fun last night and if the team liked the pilau. I assured him that we did. He then smiled and told me to “Feel at home. Please feel as if this is your home. You are most welcome.” It was very sweet. As I sat and waited for them to finish with the floor and for the younger Amina to come out, older Amina came and sat down to talk with me. She also asked if everyone liked the pilau. She said it in Swahili and I actually kind of understood. I was able to answer her in Swahili and that made her happy as well. :o) It is fun because she is learning English and I am learning Kiswahili… so we are able to understand each others limited speech. She showed me her left hand and it had henna designs on it. She pointed to me and said “you like?” I said yes, and so she said that Amina would do it for me later. :o) Young Amina came out around 10:30 and we had chai (tea with milk and spices) and mbizi (a type of sweet bread). Wednesday was my day to teach her how to make homemade bread. We gathered the ingredients and I showed her how much of everything we would need using a tea cup and a big table spoon (not a real measuring spoon). That was fun… before I even got there on Wednesday I had to convert the cups, teaspoons, and tablespoons to kilo’s and grams. :o) Way to go USA on doing away with the metric system. (wink) 😛 :o) Anywho… I was able to show her how much of things and all that. We had a good time and she really learned how to make the bread. Thanks for teaching me Mom! While the bread was baking, Amina decorated my hands with henna. She did two different kinds, one being just the traditional henna and then second being outlined in black.

Here are pictures of both…

On Thursday , we did not end up going over there because older Amina was going to be out of town. Today though Angela, Jemila and I went over there around 4 p.m. to learn how to make chapati. Mmmmmmm. Chapati is a traditional flat bread made here that is used for almost everything. Before we started we sat and talked for a while. Achmed’s mother, Mariam, was there and sat and held Jemila for a little bit. It was very cute.

Here is a picture of them…

Isn’t cute how they have the same expression on their faces? :o)

Umall, young Amina’s 1 ½ year old, finally warmed up to Jemila and played with her. Very cute!

Here are some pictures of them playing. :o)

Older Amina was more willing to let me learn how to make the chapati this time. We made the dough and then rolled it out with a thick round stick. Once it was rolled out the dough was cut into strips. We would take each strip and roll it up like a cinnamon roll. From that point the dough is rolled out again.

Here are a couple of pictures of me rolling out the dough…

The far left is older Amina, and young Amina is in the middle…

I had a really good time and learned a lot. Here are more pictures…

This is Jemila and Mariam, older Amina’s daughter…

This is Jemila and young Amina…

I hope you all are well. Please continue to pray that God will bless us as we continue to learn and grow in this culture. I am learning to love the people more and more each day! Love and miss you guys! Mungu Akubarikini! (God bless all of you!)



2 thoughts on “~*GrEaT wEeK*~ 02/25/05

  1. wow i still laugh every time i see the “Amina”…it cracks me up. i liked the personality joke..i liked the emphasis on u not traveling alone (for Dad???). i LOVE the pictures of jemila and the “women” (girls/ladies/mujeres?)… especially the one w/ her and umall. i really loved the random font spasms..idk if they showed up on your thing? i’ll explain if u dont understand. (10 bucks u wont…) g/g eat..i love u

  2. Hey Lis,
    Loved the henna!Remember when we were in Tanzania and I wanted us gals to get that done? Mike S. wouldn’t let us 😦 Are you getting your feet done too??
    Love ya & miss ya,

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