It’s what it is

When you are a visitor in my tribe of Karimojong, the food you are served may sometimes speak volumes. To be clear, it’s never the host’s intention if this is the case.

  • Chicken or meat (especially goat’s meat) served with a choice of rice, matoke (mashed green bananas), potatoes, sweet potatoes, or yam etc. translates as; we haven’t seen you in a while and we are very pleased to see you.
  • Beans served with either rice or posho also known as ugali (solid cornmeal) says – you are a regular visitor whose presence is always appreciated and you are one of us. But it could also dryly mean that you are probably not worth the trouble.
  • Posho/ugali served with greens simply means that, it’s all we have got and cannot afford anything else. Regardless, please join us for lunch/dinner.

The first visitor also gets a choice of either beer, soda, bottled water, milky tea, or a combination of all these beverages if he or she is up for it.

The second visitor gets a glass of water or a cup of tea, and the third visitor gets either a glass of water or a cup of black tea.

Please don’t hesitate to visit and remember, it’s never the host’s intention to be this blatant, it’s just what it is.

Published by Msdedeng

At 41, I am still figuring out life: my place in society, my career path, a family of my own, any many others things. Heck, I am still trying to make friends in California; a place I moved to 3 years ago. I am currently in a Community College to make up for the many years I missed school while in Africa (Uganda). I intend to transfer to university next year and double major in History and English. I lead a very ordinary life; a normal day is spent doing school assignments, hiking, or reading. My favorite thing to do is walk! Short walks or long walks it does not matter. Walking allows me to think about things - anything! My love of walking comes from where I grew up, a small village in northeastern Uganda. It is still one of the most remotest areas I will ever know, and couldn't even start comparing what life is like there to say a place like California. Walking was all I did while growing up! I walked for miles to school, to church, to the shops, to the borehole to fetch water, and to the market. It was quite an adventure unlike any other - so you now understand my love for walking.

106 thoughts on “It’s what it is

  1. And we are 100% honest about it too! And the guest who gets beans instead of chicken or meat knows there must be a special guest coming! Easy as…

    Liked by 3 people

  2. That’s really cool … here if a special guest is coming over for dinner – you do a fancy meal. Maybe some kind of chicken dish or lasagne with a salad and rolls, maybe a wine ?… depends … if I know what meal the guest prefers – I’ll do that.

    If it’s just friends – we will BBQ or make something easy and comforting.

    We don’t really have set rules though and every household is different.

    Pretty cool though

    I have seen those bananas in my grocery store – they remind me of Plantains – which is used in Spanish and Caribbean dishes… Plantains I know well… love those… I have never tried the ones you mentioned – are they similar to plantains?

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You are right that it depends on every household, but its mostly the food I have listed. One thing to note is that every tribe is different and has their own food types or dishes.
      Your options are pretty fancy 🙂
      Plantain is sweet, and we have that too, but the green bananas are not sweet, they are steamed and then mashed.
      Thank you for your interest in my post. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah we have so many different people and cultures here – so depends on who’s house you visit – but typically everyone wants to impress or please the guest. Unless it’s just a friendly gathering like I said… then is low key.

        Plantains are sweet when they ripen… but I like some dishes where I leave them green and they are not sweet … my kids love Tostones … when they are green I slice them rather thickly… fry them once… take them out… squish them lol… and fry again… they taste just like French fries lol … so yummy!!!

        Huh… very interesting on your bananas… I will have to look into them – I am curious now lol

        Interesting post! Thank you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Tostones? I have never heard of those till now. Anyway, I looked it up and they look delicious. Now I want to try them. Their preparations sounds like so much work though, haha.
        Thank you so much for participating, I look forward to more 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. They are delicious!! Definitely worth a try! Not too bad with work… slice, fry, smush, fry and eat lol … lots of frying 😄✌️ the smushing is kinda fun! We have a special smushing tool… My kids like to smush them, so saves “me” one step lol

        Enjoyed your post!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Culture is one of the many things that fascinates me. I like to compare mine to many other cultures around the world and see if there is anything in common, and quite often, there is and gesture is one of them. Thank you for reading my post.


  3. This was a fun post to read. I laughed the whole time coz it really is what it is up country😂….Now I really know why I didnt get chicken the last time i wasbin Arua🤔🤔…😂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Jacky😆😆😆 I wouldn’t classify that under fish ( at least for now) until I see it with my own eyes😆 sorry mate😆

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I love the welcoming hospitality in Africa. I need to put more effort into taking care of guests at my house. I always feel so special when visiting families. I love the motorcycle in the photo. I am always amazed at how much someone will carry on them.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, it seems very similar to my experiences in Malawi. I finally felt like I was family instead of a guest during my last visit when I was given an assignment to help cook. I have always been treated like royalty and it makes me feel bad that they have so little and are wasting it on me.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I recall very well that picture of you in the kitchen.Do you know what it means? That they are absolutely comfortable with you and see you as part of their family. At this point, they are not embarrassed of the little they have, they know you won’t judge them for their situation.
        Honestly, I think you have made an impact on many Malawians.


  5. Whats in a meal
    I love how this could easily be a Zimbabwean household you are describing
    Chicken has a somewhat special place and when you are served that it would mean you are an honoured guest especially if the said chicken was killed specifically for you, then plucked and dressed (why do we call it dressing chickens when its leaves them naked)
    But chicken has sort of lost its treasured place as its somewhat “cheap” compared to beef I dont think I have had beef this entire year.

    Also I recently learnt that what you call posho is the staple starch which we call sadza.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beaton, I have always said that although Africa is a continent of 54 countries, our cultures are so similar it could be one huge country.
      But you broke my heart saying chicken is becoming a cheap thing, really? And you haven’t heard beef for almost a year? What is the matter with the world?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with Beaton, meat is hard to find this days so chicken is the only option especially where I come from, my mum ‘ kills’🙈🤩 chickens for her guests because she can’t find access to meat. And goats meat is not affordable ( it’s special meat hence the price is higher than other meats). You can’t give a guest beans😆🙈 so thank God for chickens!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wish I had done mot things in my young years: take education for example, much as appreciate the opportunity to rectify my past, it has meant that I sacrifice certain things or put them on hold. I guess I should be grateful honestly, but you know what I mean?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I do but life offers us different opportunities … I thought I’d have a degree first but met obstacles so worked three jobs to travel. The education came afterwards … we never know 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with Calmkate.
    I finished my Diploma and Degree back in Africa, thought that was an achievement, but when I moved to Australia, they did not recognise my Degree 😴
    Now after all those years I have to study again, and some times I wish I had not? I wish I had worked many jobs like you and enjoyed my youth? But life is uncertain- you don’t know what it will present you with. So every day I just thank God for every opportunity.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Never had it cut since when in Gambia (about late Feb). My hair is naturally curly and of course as my hair grows so do the curls.
        Last Friday when I had to alter my plans at the last minute to visit a dear old lady living alone in her garden I decided to visit the hairdresser instead for a trim. Watch this space for new pic.
        It had taken a while to negotiate a visit in her garden where I felt safest during this pandemic & also to get a dry day so when the government announced the previous evening increased restrictions for Greater Manchester to take effect from midnight unfortunately I had to let her down. I live in a part of Lancashire just over the geographical boundary not affected by changes .

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well, I like it and i think you should keep it curly, but of course it’s up to your liking.
        Are you saying that the virus is re-surging there? One just wonders when we will go back to normal again, but till then, please keep safe.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Yes Msdedeng, have toyed with my hair over the years and I always seem to return to curly. Think at one stage had an idea for a post about my hair journey. Yes, unfortunately ‘spikes’ occurring requiring localised approaches but unfortunately changes announced at the last minute. Fortunately on this occasion I did tune into the morning news as it had changed significantly overnight only affecting a social event for me on that day but difficult letting my older friend down.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I know Msdedeng, she accepted the cancellation wanting me to break the rules & I told her sister wouldn’t. We ended the conversation laughing so all is well. Thanks for your concern 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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