Day 356: Hospitality

by claire a. williams,

Since hospitality differs in every country on the globe, there are some aspects of Kenyan entertaining that would be extremely out of place in dear old America. Like the fact that undersized children enjoy wielding big knives here. To be fair, this phenomenon is not entirely particular to Kenya, as most poorer countries in the world rely on small(er) children to do big(ger) cooking than in the USA.

Today, in my slightly flu like state brought about by spending too much time with children who do not use hand sanitizers, two nice brushes with hospitality contrasted drastically against each other to prove that multiple generations of Kenyans know well how to treat their visitors.

In one, a widely respected grandmotherly figured had us over for post-Easter lunch. The fact that we appeared with three more guests than were invited was not remarked upon, even though the power had been out for the past day and all the cooking had to be done with charcoal.

In another, the nine year old daughter of one of the matrons at Tumiani, who was visiting for the weekend, invited me into her mother's apartment while her mother was out working. After telling me to sit down on the couch, she went into the kitchen, only to reappear with a bag of white bread, a large machete, and a plastic container of Crisco.

The very many things wrong with this picture made the experience all that much more endearing. But I still didn't eat the Crisco.


Gabrielle said...

Clare, this post was hillarious. The image of a young girl wielding a machete and crisco leaves me gasping for air.

Another Twentysomething said...

I love it! I used to think your travel stories could NOT get any more random, and then this little gem of a post came along!

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