Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Turkana feast & thoughts on this special night

Pictures of our Turkana feast.

Today I had a feast with my Turkana friends and workers.  The link above will take you to a photo album on facebook.  It would take me hours to upload all those pictures here.  I  have a few here that were not in that album instead.  We gathered together so they could help me celebrate my birthday a little early.  It was a lot of fun.  My friend and house helper, Paulina, cooked most of the meal with a little help (and interference) from me.  I wanted pictures of the whole cooking process.  She was good natured about it.

I did miss getting most of the cooking of the meat.  My guard, Moses Lobwel, cut up and cooked the beef rib meat that I had gotten in town.  I paid about $15 for 8 lbs of rib meat with the bones.  It was cooked in a big pot outside on a jiiko - a little charcoal cooker.  He fried onions and tomatoes first and then added the meat and maybe a little water so there would be some soup.  The sukuma wiki (greens like kale or swiss chard) cost about $1.25 for a full pot.  Both of these are seasoned with Royco.  This is a beef flavoring that is not spicy even though the package says it is.
onions & tomatoes cooking down before adding sukuma or meat
Just as I was about to invite everyone inside to eat, the kids came from school.  I knew the school would close the first term today.  I did not know that they would close early and send kids home at 12:30 without lunch.  So, I ended up sending most of the kids home and promised them a small feast on Monday.  Some of them stayed as their Mom, Paulina, wanted them to walk home with her.  So, they got to have a little of what was left.  There were not enough chapatis (Chah-Pah-tease) for them as I had only planned on 7 people.
my boneless meat
We feasted!  Six adults and four kids ate all that meat!  I cooked a little boneless meat for myself as I don't enjoy the bones, but I knew that they like the bones - to suck out the marrow.  I had a small bowl of sukuma left and a little of the meat I cooked for myself.  It will be a good lunch for tomorrow.
Lemon flavored cake and frosting
The really fun part was after the meal.  I served them a cake I had made and they all started singing.  It was a made up happy birthday song - in Turkana.  The tune kept changing until they found one they liked and then they sang it through full voiced several times.  It was wonderful and I'm sorry I had no way to record it.  Then Moses Longok (I have 3 men called Moses who work for me) gave me a basket as a gift.  Moses Kakalei gave me the flower he had worn in his shirt pocket.  It was so sweet!
gifts - these and the friendships!
Today was a very good day!  I will celebrate my birthday with teammates on the real day, but this was my fun gift to my workers and friends.  It was full of thankfulness and fun.  Just as I imagine the passover meal would have been like that Jesus celebrated with his family and friends for most of his life.  His last one is celebrated tonight throughout the Christian world.  This is the night he gave us the Lord's Supper.  Thank you, Jesus, that you took the common parts of a special meal and used them for us to remember your sacrifice on the cross.  Thank you for that sacrifice.  In the midst of happiness and joy and in the midst of sorrow and grief, may we always remember His sacrifice and the cost of our sin!

Pondering his gift this night and thinking of his ultimate gift tomorrow.  May you have a blessed weekend and celebrate His death and Resurrection! 


  1. My husband would think he had died and gone to heaven if he had been at your feast. LOVES ethnic food.

    1. Tell him he is welcome to come visit - you too! Paulina and I will make him a feast. I'll even make the meat goat instead of beef just for him :). You can actually do the sukuma with swiss chard or kale. Just slice it thin, cook some onions & tomatoes and add the greens. Let it cook down. It is really good! You could add a little beef bullion in to give it the beef flavor.