Today, we spent time in various homes in Kiria, experiencing a Day in the Life of a Kenyan. This is always a highlight of the trip and you never know what kind of tasks you will be doing. Last year, I milked a cow, hoed potatoes, pulled potatoes, chopped firewood, make tea and chapati for a snack. This year, we did different things, so that was fun...
We started by stopping in a town on the way to the village to buy gum boots, or rubber boots.
Here are my boots...they are not the most comfortable or flattering :) The village had been getting a lot of rain, so they were necessary.
We again divided into teams and were dropped off at various houses. The homes were chosen because the people living there were having a rough time and could use some help. My home was Naphtali's. He is a village elder and has had some health issues lately.
I was excited to be visiting with him again. He was one of the helpers at the house I worked at on the last trip. He was particular about how things were done...we didn't think we were going to get out of the potato patch!
We started our day peeling potatoes...we were going to make Mukimo. The ladies were quite impressed that we knew how to peel them with a knife because they assume we have a machine to do everything! They save the peel and green potatoes for the cows. I asked if they ever eat the peel and they said an emphatic NO! I told them we often eat the skin...they were not sure of that!
Next, while some other ladies finished peeling the potatoes, we started making tea. Of course you need to get the fire going so you can boil the water and milk. Naphtali actually has two fireplaces in his home. This one is in the kitchen area.
Shaun is demonstrating how to blow on the fire. This metal rod is used to direct the air. This helped us to learn why women with a gap between their front teeth are highly valued....they can blow on the fire better and therefore their husband is less likely to go hungry!
Peter is three and he is Susan's son. She was there helping us for the day.
We washed the potatoes in the yard...there is a spigot. Then we washed squash leaves and headed back inside.
The squash leaves were chopped very fine. Salt was added and they were massaged until tender and wilted. The potatoes were added to a large pot, along with the squash leaves, and some beans and corn that had already been cooked. A lid was added and it cooked away on the fire for probably 30 minutes or more. The ladies in the home asked questions and then sang for us while we waited.
Once it was finished, we had to mash it all up together...
The finished product...green mashed potatoes basically. It is quite tasty and very filling!
We broke for lunch although none of us were hungry! It started to rain pretty hard, so we could not return to the homes. We traveled up the mountain a ways on a paved road and looked at the village from above....sorry, I didn't get a photo. Then it was back to the hotel.
Next week will be our last day in the village...stay tuned to see what adventures we have then...