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Tuesday Blog: Death by Kuku

It’s time for our Tuesday blog.   We blog three times weekly at TheCreek.  In addition to Tuesday, we have fresh stories on Thursdays, and Saturday.

Speaking of fresh, here’s a fresh blog about a fresh subject.

Eric and Margaret pick us up for our home visit. (May 2013 Zambia)
Eric and Margaret pick us up for our home visit. (May 2013 Zambia)

 

 Death by Kuku

I’ve been in Africa for seven months.

It seems like yesterday we got on a plane in Houston.

In other ways, it seems a lifetime ago.

 

I’ve eaten lots of kuku since arriving.

Kuku.  That’s the word in several African languages for chicken.

 

What nicknames have you heard for chickens?

 

Two quick stories about Africa and chicken.

 

In Zambia, we stayed with a lovely couple named Eric and Margaret.

They showed us wonderful hospitality which is so evident of this continent.

Kindness to strangers.

"Eat Mor Chick'n or I'll gore you."  A Zebu cow  Uganda.
“Eat Mor Chick’n or I’ll gore you.” A Zebu cow Uganda.

The service of sacrificial giving to meet the needs of your guests.

Doing without so others may have.

 

Most rural African eat meat only on special occasions.

I call it vegetarianism by circumstances.

 

Beef and pork are scarce.  No refrigeration.

Chicken is the source of most meat meals and that may only be monthly . . . or even less.

 

Our new friend Eric sent a neighbor boy on bicycle to purchase a chicken from an Experimental Farm (“Farming God’s Way) about 7 km away.

 

A couple of hours later, the boy pedaled up with a live chicken tied across his handlebars.   I wasn’t a witness for the execution but DeDe marveled at how Eric and Margaret’s daughter, Naomi, made short work of the chicken.

 

For the next four meals DeDe and I dined on chicken.  I’m amazed at how far Africans can make a meal go.  I’m still not sure how Margaret creatively carved the chicken.

Margaret and her daughter Naomi getting the pot hot.
Margaret and her daughter Naomi getting the pot hot.

 

It bothered DeDe and I that we were the only ones having chicken at meals 2, 3, and 4.  I would’ve never criticized our hosts by refusing their kindness.

 

There’s an art at receiving that in some ways is more challenging than giving.

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A month later our Engagement Team made a trip into South Sudan.  On the return leg, we stayed at the Heritage Park Hotel in Arua, Uganda.  By then, our five-man team had subsisted on kuku and chips (fries) for over a week.  It was only broken twice when we had mbuzi (goat) and chips for a change of pace.

 

We sat outside the hotel playing cards.  Our leader, Bob, ordered . . . you guessed it  . . . fried chicken . . . and chips.

 

Within minutes, a boda boda (motorcycle taxi) sped up to the hotel with four passengers on the back.

 

Four plump hens.  A worker rushed out, paid the driver, and took the chickens behind the hotel.

 

Shortly thereafter, our card game was interrupted by the sound of hot grease popping.  This was followed by the tantalizing smell of frying chicken from the outdoor kitchen. Our supper was on its way.

 

You can’t get fresher than the meals we got at the Hotel and from Eric and Margaret.

Yep, death by overdosing on kuku.

But as they say, what a way to go.

Open Hands Africa
Open Hands Africa

 

 

 

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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