We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Out-of-Town Adventure, Part IV

Meal Time! Tuesday, August 15

Do you remember the old story about the two ol’ boys from South Alabama who were comparing hunting dogs? Leroy’s dogs were sleek and shiny and strong, and Bubba’s dogs were not. So Bubba asked Leroy what he did to make them look so good. Leroy said, “I only feed them collard greens.” Well three days later Bubba saw Leroy again and told him “My dogs won’t eat collard greens.” And Leroy just laughed and said, “Mine wouldn’t either for the first three weeks.”

I felt a little like Leroy’s dogs when we finally got around to eating on Monday. Lunch is at 3:30 here. THREE THIRTY!! That’s a long time after the 6:30 breakfast we had at home. After nine hours, that tomato and cucumber salad was pretty tasty. Breakfast here will be at 9:00 so there shouldn’t be such a big gap for the rest of the week.

Meals here are a little different. The big meal is lunch (the 3:30 one) and breakfast and supper are usually different combinations and types of bread and cheese. Oh yeah, and they also have beans for breakfast. They bring little bowls of beans to the table, and then someone else walks around with extra oil if your beans aren’t greasy enough. After breakfast, there’s a mad dash for hot tea. They drink their tea with sugar and milk. A lot of them fill their cup over halfway with milk, put several spoonfuls of sugar, and then add a little hot water and a tea bag. It’s pretty tasty.

At the table, there is usually a pitcher of cold water and one tin cup. They just fill up the cup, and everyone drinks some as they like. I’ve seen several folks drinking out of the pitcher, too, but they always drink out of the side so they won’t get their germs on the part people might want to pour from. The hardest part for Beth is that there are never any napkins. Everybody just washes their hands when the meal is over. They lather their hands up with soap and then also wash all around their mouths with their soapyhands. During the meal, they use their bread (a brown flatbread kind of like a pita) as a napkin to keep their hands from getting too greasy.

Lunch everyday consisted of rice or pasta, salad (sliced up cucumbers, onions, and tomatoes), and a meat (chicken or fish). It was very good. When we finished all that, they would bring out a tray of fresh fruit for dessert, except for one day, when they brought out cups of 7-Up instead. We had cantaloupe one day, and our friend looked very confused when I told her that in the states we usually eat cantaloupe for breakfast. She was probably thinking, “Oh no, that’s way too sweet to eat at breakfast.” Aren’t cultures fascinating?

Check back tomorrow for Swim Time!

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