Saturday, February 23, 2008

I named my parasite Joe

We went to see the kids' grandmother to visit and ask her questions about the kids and their parents. When we pulled up, this is what we saw as the entrance to her home. There were several other houses that looked just like this, butted up to one another. Our kids lived here for quite some time. My heart breaks for the entire family. I cannot even imagine being strong enough to give up my child, or grandchild, even when I knew it would be best for them. They were so gracious and kind to us. I don't know why, but I felt unworthy of that... of having a special meal prepared for us... or being waited on by others.

Grandmother had tried to go to market to buy a chicken for us, but she became too ill and had to turn back. She made us goat instead... Goat can be bought on the side of the road. You pick out which one you want and they bludgeon it to death and skin it on the side of the road. Then you take it home to cook it.

This is their cousin rolling out the injera. She lives with grandmother and takes care of her. Injera is eaten with basically every meal. It's a spongy sour tasting flat bread. I don't know if it's the sour taste or the nasty texture that makes me want to vomit so much. It's nothing against the traditional Ethiopian meal, it's just totally not my thing.

This is the goat Grandmother cooked on her little stove on the floor of her 8 X 15 house.

She went to so much trouble. How could we possibly say no? Jeff, Jordan and I rolled out the injera across our plates as we had seen the kids do all week. We looked like experts... yeah right! Then we piled up the goat carcass...err I mean meat... across the injera. It took all the self-control I could muster to not vomit right then and there. With every bite, I kept telling myself, "They have given you these children. Do not disrespect them. Just swallow it down and try not to taste it or let it roll around in your mouth too much." We definitely looked like we knew what we were doing as we grabbed the piece of injera with only our right hands and used it to get the goat meat to our mouths. Yes, I'm sure our green color really made us look like experts. It was at this point that I named my newly acquired parasite Joe. I'm pretty sure I could feel Joe running through my digestive system at record speed attaching to all of my inner's and reproducing exponentially. I'm pretty sure he's probably still in there somewhere.

I have heard that the teff flour that is used in injera makes it addictive. People crave it after awhile. We, unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, never made it to that point.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Gina, I would love to know about your visit with grandma. What questions did you ask her? What do you now wish you had asked her? Did you take her anything? Do you continue to communicate with her and if so, how? We hope to see our kids Grandma when we go to pick them up. You can email me directly at juliegumm AT yahoo DOT com