On many of my mission trips, the meals I ate consisted of some crazy items. I thought I would share about some of the more exciting adventures.
One of my trips took me to Western Kenya. The places the team visited included some schools in very rural areas. I witnessed extreme poverty all around these village schools. One school prepared a meal for us. The team sat at several small square tables; each one held four individuals. The air filled with aromas of sweet herbs as we waited. The meal consisted of a bowl of soupy stew with lots of fresh vegetables. The woman across from me excitedly dipped her spoon into the steaming bowl of goodness. As she pulled it back out, I noticed her eyes widen in horror. I glanced at her spoon and spied the chicken head complete with beak and eyes intact. I quickly hushed her to keep her from screaming. I explained that a head was left in the soup to show freshness. It was an honor to get it. She was not amused but ate all the rest like a trooper.
On other trips, I tried to help in the kitchen. The local women loved to teach me their skills. One day, a group of Kenyan women proudly announced their plans to teach me how to wash and braid intestines. WHAT? I decided I needed to stop volunteering to help. Soon, they brought me the raw intestines and showed me how to run water through them until it ran clear. OK – Yuck. Then we let them dry for a little while before braiding them. I debated with myself about adding this new skill to my resume. I don’t know what part was worse, preparing them or eating them.
In Nepal, the food struggle was the variety offered. Our only option was rice with spicy vegetables. We had it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even as a snack before bed. After about three days, I swore I would never eat rice again in my life. The problem was I still have six days remaining on the trip. As spoiled Americans, and with all our variety of food options at home, I could not imagine eating the same thing meal after meal for years and years.
Oxtail soup with bits of tail in it, whole fish on plates staring back up at you, organ meats of all kinds, and various varieties of other, freshly butchered animals adorned many of my plates through the years. God reminded me to stock up on Pepto before each trip. But more importantly, these meals were offered with love and from meager wages. I cherished these experiences and the laughter shared. The real lesson I learned was to expect the unexpected and laugh often. I was always glad to get home and back to my regular food. I praised God for gifts of each trip.
Yvonne with Orphan Relief Effort
Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”