Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Spaghetti in the dryer!

"This no good!" my Somali friend told me. "No working!"She had just taken a box of spaghetti noodles out of the clothes dryer in her kitchen. When I exclaimed about her unusual -- but clever -- storage solution, she explained that the dryer had quit working long ago. As a mom with seven children, she's in a panic about the approach of winter. She won't be able to hang wet clothes outside when its cold. (photo removed by request)

But her good cheer returned as she dumped the noodles in hot water and began cooking what she called "Somali pasta." During her childhood in Mogadishu, she had been able to buy ready-made pasta. But in the refugee camp where she fled, she had to grind flour and make noodles herself.

Pasta in Somalia? It took me a few minutes to figure out why pasta would be a favorite Somali dish. Then I remembered that Somalia had once been an Italian colony. Makes sense now!She proudly displayed the traditional Somali bread -- injera -- she had made. Her husband would soon wake up and eat lunch in preparation to leave for his night shift at the chicken factory. She planned to feed the whole family a hearty meal. With four preschoolers at home (including a baby), she has her hands full.

Outside, our son Geoffrey was playing soccer with my friend's children. I noted some mutual curiosity between a white man with a faux-hawk and his new Somali refugee friend. Geoffrey got a kick out of holding the baby. That was mutual, too!
This Somali mom is proud of her family, eager to practice her English skills, and always welcoming. Whenever I get ready to leave, she says, "Goodbye, sister! Thank you, sister!"

(photo removed by request)

Goodbyes are never easy for me. Sending Geoffrey back to Missouri to finish his senior year of college was especially hard.

Moms love their children. I see the love in the eyes of my Somali friend when she looks at her little ones. And I know how deeply I love my big tall boy. Come back soon, Geoffrey!

1 comment:

Dina said...

Oh Cathy...you could write a book! :-) I praying for you in the midst of these many different changes. What a season you and Tim are in!!! Remember His mercies are NEW EVERY MORNING. love, Dina