Saturday, June 23, 2007

For the Foodies Among You

Foods I miss (in no particular order):
tomato and basil salad
fresh greens
fugi apples
dark chocolate

Foods I eat:
For breakfast
If eating with the children, it's porridge from maize flour, water, sugar and some powdered milk
If eating with volunteers at the containers, it's peanut butter on biscuits (cookies), vanilla yogurt with passion fruit (from the roadside stand by the entrance to Noah's Ark), and passion fruit juice. Ok, and nutella sometimes.

For Lunch:
Everyday except Sunday we eat pinto beans with posho (a kind of cross between flour, rice and cous cous); On Sunday, it's a fried egg on bread.

For Dinner:
Sunday: chips (French fries) and sausage and Dutch applesauce
Monday: rice and cabbage
Tuesday: brown posho (which you pinch off, and eat with your hands) with meat
Wednesday: minced meat stew with spaghetti noodles
Thursday: rice with minced meat
Friday: matoke (a type of banana that is boiled and looks like a potato) with g-nut (peanut) sauce and some greens, the name of which I cannot spell.
Saturday: vegetable soup with bread

If it's a child's birthday, we eat pancakes for dinner, and the child gets a cake which is cut into literally a hundred pieces and the child passes it out to all the children. It provokes total chaos in the dining room.

A little on eating dinner with 60 children. It's not normal. They laugh, they sing, they argue, they vomit, they leave the table, they ask for more, they ask for salt, they ask for jam, they ask to "cuddle me" (sit in my lap), they yell. But they also know exactly which plastic cup is theirs, that they must eat all that is on their plate before they ask for more (which they are allowed to have), and they stack their plates (sort of) in a pile in the center when they've finished. After dinner we sing some songs and hear a Bible story. One of their favorites songs is that Lion King song, the lion sleeps tonight. Then after eating, they have to brush their teeth, go shoo-shoo or poo-poo, and get in to bed - a process that takes about one and a half hours. Again, amazingly each child knows his or her own toothbrush.

Developmentally, these kids know how to identify the few things that belong to only them, how to get the aunties' attention, how to feed themselves earlier than most children I know, when to be quiet - they really recognize routine. But in other ways they are very much behind, especially in speech and language and dressing themselves. Even children who are 5 or 6 years old cannot put on their own clothes. I have to help them dry off after their bath and put on their pants. It's really interesting the skills that are required for living in a children's home.

I wish I knew more of each child's story. I think that would explain so much about them, where they are developmentally and how their social skills are. There is such a book but it is in Dutch, so I cannot read it. But I can see the photos and guess why these children have so many needs now.

1 comment:

ArtCricket said...

Another wonderful story! Thanks for the picture of eating times and birthday celebrations. I miss you bunches! love-J