Mama Kaaya took my roommate Mac and I to church… we had no idea what we were in for- we certainly didn’t know that it would be an all day event, including lunch with the pastor’s wife and son! Our three hour long, outdoor service (complete with singing, clapping, and lots of crying) commenced around 12:30. Without expectation, I followed Mama Kaaya and the woman who had led our prayer songs down a few winding dirt paths; soon enough we figured out we were being served lunch by the pastor’s wife herself. All together the church consisted of maybe 15 people… I was officially the first white person to attend.
Lunch was portioned from a single large bowl- fermented milk with chunks of corn at the bottom (surely the dish was more complicated than that, but if you can imagine runny yet chunky, sour but plain, yogurt…). After Mac refused more than one bite, the pressure was on to choke down my entire serving- I managed my mission just fine after the pastor’s son, not speaking a word of English, approached me and sweetly dropped a spoonful of raw cane sugar into my bowl and motioned for me to mix it in.