Sunday, October 25, 2009


We have language class (or in this case, a test) on Saturday mornings, but my family has no reason to get up, so tonight at dinner I told my family that I was capable of going to the bakery in the morning to buy bread, heating the water for my bath, heating the water for my morning coffee, and otherwise getting ready in the morning, so they didn’t need to wake up. When I said this, my grandmother laughed like it was the funniest thing she had ever heard.
Today, in our language groups, we got together with our moms to cook traditional Mozambican food. We made xima, cove, matapa, and rice. The entire process took four hours. We were taught how to do everything and very carefully supervised while doing it to make sure we were doing everything correctly.
In Mozambican culture it is customary at meals to serve the guest and the father first (and give them the choicest parts of the meal), then the older sons, then the mother, and last the children. Last night we had beef stew which had in it three pieces of bones which I would guess are very high in nutrition and are the most coveted part of the stew. My mom and grandmother each took one but I said I didn’t want one. My three year old brother asked for one, but my mom told him no, the bones were only for adults, not for children. Then she and my grandmother split the extra one while he stared longingly. Just a completely different cultural attitude than the one I am used to and was extremely hard for me to understand and watch.

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