How Long Does A Typical College Football Game Last A Ugandan Feast on Jesus’ Birthday

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A Ugandan Feast on Jesus’ Birthday

On Christmas Eve, my husband woke up from a Hennessy stupor and football games on TV and brought me to our friend David’s house for Christmas. I had a very interesting time there because I sat next to David’s father at the table and I had a full view of the kitchen and living room where many of their family members lived.

I learned after marriage that skin color itself is not a culture. As an American, I had a very narrow and narrow view of race. Meeting many African people from different backgrounds made me see people in a deeper way. I can’t say “black people…” at all anymore because I’ve experienced different cultures and personalities from all over Africa. Color is a small part of it because everyone has color.

David and his father made their fortune in California by making the most of the real estate market. In contrast, David’s father told me that there are no mortgages in Uganda. He told me that with $20,000 I or anyone could go to Uganda, build a house in the countryside and live off the land. This immediately sparked an idea in my mind.

It was a picture of the abundance of easy grace that this family shared with each other and with the guests they welcomed into their home at Christmas. David’s sister welcomed the new babies born this year who are experiencing their first Christmas. We applauded them and paid special attention to make it memorable. The beautiful woman was asked to pray and led us all in a powerful prayer that dedicated this day to Jesus Christ, because it is his birthday, and asked him for his blessing for the food.

Food was not a chore, as I would suggest a typical rich American family. Instead, it was a celebration of simple luxury. Everyone had as much as they wanted. There was so much food that even the sixty people present could not finish it. There were greens, yellow squash, chicken soup, cassava (my first taste of it), lentils, beans, chickpeas, plain yogurt, plantains, biscuits, pork, brussels sprouts, long rice with vegetables, and a frozen cake.

My husband, who was watching the football game, asked me to bring him a plate. But since I was sitting next to David’s father and enjoying the conversation of people who loved this man as their father, I did not want to give up my seat.

I eat some things with my hands, like chicken on the bone and hamburgers. I admit that when I’m alone, I eat all kinds of food with my hands. In college, while I was moonlighting as a dancer named Sheba, I met the youngest senior resident at University Medical Center, a tall and talented Ethiopian named Ted. She cooked for me and took me to Zema’s in Tucson, Arizona on Broadway. Ethiopian food has a special bread with which you eat other dishes. That’s why I’m used to eating with your hands. Nigerian dishes often include a doughy, uncooked “bread” that is eaten by hand. But until last night, I had never seen another woman eat all her food with her hands. It was very liberating. For a moment I realized how much I have about the simple experience of eating. He would happily and cheerfully throw the food into his mouth. He took bits and pieces of food from his father’s plate. As the other plates were cleared, she pulled them back to the table if she liked the food. However, he was very round.

I could have stayed up all night soaking up the faces of the beautiful children who were drawn in turn to their mothers, then their fathers. I looked at the newborn, a boy just six days old, with his first wavy, curly hair. The young women were beautifully dressed, enviably slim with flawless skin and flawless braids and braids. Some people looked like Ted Gedebu, tall, thin with dark eyes and defined profiles. Other people had flat Asian eyelids even though they were African. Young men huddled around beer coolers and single men at the bar engaged in seemingly serious conversations over stiff drinks.

Young men and women drank and left early. I was disappointed when my husband announced that it was time for us to leave. My husband and David went out before me, trying to talk business without me. They were talking about buying one of David’s houses. My husband was lying to David, acting like the deal was already in place. His eyes were rolling and he was laughing. On the porch was a group of men my age wearing velvet suits and designer shirts. They stole those few moments of showing off my husband in the business, so that I could stay that I blushed. “The car stops on red” I said, and I moved away from their voice saying “Let it go, stay.”

My husband yelled at me when I asked about a possible home purchase. “You let me think, honey. I’ll never make a decision that’s bad for us.” He tries to assert his masculinity because he was afraid of David, perhaps. I don’t know. I didn’t care. I had sown many seeds in my mind. Millions of dreams of Africa, love and family filled my mind. I opened the window and watched the moon smile like a Cheshire cat, then smiled at my husband. I laughed out loud and for a long time.

I feel tired when I think of myself laughing at someone else like that. I am not a hysterical hyena. I am a lion cub. Hyenas clean. Lionesses rule abundance and strength. I promised myself that I would never use this stupid tactic to protect myself in the future. I will be quiet in the face of his rude reproaches, his rude insults, his cruel depreciation, for this short time with him will make it intolerable to me now, and save me from any guilt when he leaves me.

After all, I can control what I say despite the fear of adrenaline when he curses. He actually curses his ex-wives, ex-boyfriends who betrayed him and crushed his ego. It has nothing to do with me. But I can’t control the urge that makes me jump two meters back every time he tries to touch me.

Currently reading: The Spirit of a New Kitchen: Exploring the Foods and Flavors of Africa

By Markus Samuelsson

December 26, 2006 – Tuesday

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