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, December 11, 2007

Sheep Cow?

Each night when we talk about the Christmas story, we use the Fisher Price nativity set so the kids can move the characters around and act out the story. One night last week, we were talking about the shepherds, and we explained that the dog in the Fisher Price set was probably a sheep dog, and he helped the shepherds keep the sheep in line (we concluded this not because we know anything about sheep dogs, but simply because he came in the Little People Shepherds set). Lee Anna liked that idea, and brought the cow over and said he was a “sheep cow!” Then she introduced us to the sheep camel and the sheep donkey. Now the shepherds have plenty of helpers.

We have some real-live shepherds in our neighborhood this month. About a block away from here, there’s a make-shift pen with several dozen sheep getting ready for the big feast. If every family in a city of 15 million people is to sacrifice an animal next week, there have to be pens like this all over town. Wow.

On an unrelated, but moderately funny and culturally insightful note, our language helper showed up one day last week a few minutes before we expected her. It was a little after 1:00 (p.m.). We were eating bowls of taco soup when she got here, so we apologized and offered her some. She declined, since she had already eaten (and she probably wasn’t so sure about the spicy red stuff with corn in it), but insisted that we finish eating. As we hurriedly finished up, she asked, "Why in the world are you eating breakfast so late today?" We laughed and explained that the soup was actually our second meal of the day. On the local schedule, lunch doesn't happen until somewhere between 3 and 6 p.m., so in her mind there was no way we could be eating lunch already. What probably wasn't too strange for her was the idea of eating something taco-soup-like for breakfast. At her house they eat tomatoes and cucumbers for breakfast every day, sometimes with cheese. Maybe we'll get there one day, but right now we're still holding on to our Cheerios and pancakes!

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