The first country we learned about for our rice bowl during Lent was Lesotho. It's a tiny country which is completely surrounded by South Africa. We learned about a 17 year old who lost his father to AIDS. Then, his mother left to work in a factory and he never heard from her again. He had to quit school so he could work to feed himself. When CRS came, they provided him with a school uniform and school supplies so he could return to school and also taught him how to grow a vegetable garden. With his garden, he was able to provide himself with three meals a day and also sell the leftover vegetables at the market for money. Yesterday for dinner, we made Papa with Chakalaka, a native meal from Lesotho.
It's corn porridge with spicy vegetables. My plan was for the children to be more thankful for our tasty American food after tasting a meal from another country. What I didn't plan on was for it to make me very thankful as well! The corn porridge was, um, a bit bland and somewhat bitter. And the spicy vegetables wasn't bad but you could only eat so much, ya'know? Oh, how spoiled we are!
As we ate, the kids talked about all the yummy foods that we can so easily go and buy at the store like frozen pizza, cheetos, boxed cereal, etc.
Little Miss Chatterbox was sad for the children in Lesotho who would never taste any of those things. Then she asked me if they get cake and ice cream on their birthdays. When I told her no, she said, "That's horrible!" (funny what's important to a child) I told her that not having birthday cake is the least of their problems and that they are blessed just to have clean water to drink. After being silent for a bit she said, "Mom, we should adopt a child from there and give them all the things they could never have in their country." I told her that was a wonderful idea but not something we could do right now. But reassured her that the money we are putting in the rice bowl will go to the families who need it most. I hope she will continue to appreciate all that we have as Americans.
Wondering if my kids ate their dinner?
The answer is no, not really.
Mr. Funny played with his corn porridge and made little balls out of it and wouldn't touch the vegetable mixture.
Mr. Tickle picked out the beans and ate those and took a few bites of his porridge.
Little Miss Chatterbox ate a few bites of her porridge as well and tried one bite of her vegetables. After dinner was all cleaned up, the kids were still lingering in the kitchen. I knew they had to be hungry so asked them if they wanted some bread. I have never seen my kids so excited about bread! They ate it happily and were glad to have full stomachs.
This morning Little Miss Chatterbox complained that I made her oatmeal too mushy. Oh, how quickly they forget. I told we had plenty of leftover Papa with Chakalaka if she would rather have that for breakfast. Her eyes got big.
"Never mind. This is just fine."
Maybe after a few weeks of this they'll remember how blessed we are to have food without having to be reminded!