Sometimes in life you eat sweet potatoes

It’s good to be back home in the city by the lakeside! Kisumu is beautiful and full of surprises but I still get that small town girl feeling whenever I return.

The hairdresser under the tree is still there. She comes and spreads her mat on the ground, positions her bench and waits for clients who need their hair braided. The shopkeeper is also there and he opens and closes his shop as he pleases. Then, there is the barber who always listens to Kiss 100- so I am treated to replays of songs! And who can forget the cobbler who comes to work wearing white linen pants and goes back home without a smear or dirt, polish or glue on his pants! (Goals, I tell you!)

However, I have been unwell since I came home. Mom insists that it is Malaria and my doctor confirms it with a dosage of nasty medicine that I am supposed to swallow within a period of eight hours!

So, with the heat and the medicine I have been doing nothing much aside from reading and staying away from the kitchen but something happened that made me get up and drag my feet to this computer, some bit of gossip if you please.

 Mom bought sweet potatoes.

You see, these big sweet potatoes that when cooked they are all white and powdery!

I love sweet potatoes.

We were having sweet potatoes with tea at four yesterday evening when suddenly the piece I had in my mouth seemed to be working against me. I felt my eyes bulge out and nothing made sense or eased the pain, not even the gulps of ginger tea I was taking- and for a split second it felt like that piece of sweet potato would be the death of me!

Mom just sat there laughing! They were laughing so hard that tears filled their eyes and they couldn’t stop. When I composed myself, and glared at mom, she said “Jawuoro!”

Now, allow me to welcome you into my native language-Dholuo. See, there are certain words that can be used to tease or jest or simply insult someone but they have never really been meant as such. Take that word up there! Jawuoro…it’s just, aargh!

I was dying (or it felt like it) and mom chose that precise moment to call me a “Glutton!”

Now, isn’t that sending a dagger to my Luo heart? That piece of sweet potato was stuck like it was a fat cat sitting in my spot reluctant to move. Have you ever tried to move a fat cat off your seat or better yet, have you ever tried pushing a donkey from behind? Ghai!

And I couldn’t help but remember that you have not valued your life until you are choked by two kinds of food: sweet potatoes and pumpkins a.k.a ‘budho”

2 thoughts on “Sometimes in life you eat sweet potatoes

  1. Your wonderful post just conjured up that scene so vividly for me, I got out my atlas to find Kisumi on the map and gave you a little wave all the way from my sofa in Wales! Hope you’re feeling better soon 🙂


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