Friday, August 29, 2008


My friend Hasan is funny. He’s from Sudan and he mistakenly substitutes the wrong word sometimes. One example is below.

Transform for transfer (make sentence sound funny)

He says that Christians, Muslims, and Jews all have the same eating requirements. The same halaal food that he eats, Jews and Christian eat, too. Halaal meat is meat for which the animal’s head was cut cleanly in order to kill it. The animal is not allowed to be dead before cutting off the head; it must die from the head-cutting. And it must be quick and clean so that the blood can spill out and so that it doesn’t cause pain to the animal. He says Jews, Muslims, and Christians all eat the same. I wondered about that. Maybe he means in his part of the world.

He also said that he heard that Christians don’t read the Bible. He asked me and my friend Karl (a masters student in my lab). He said “You know how Muslims read the Q’ran. I heard Christians don’t read the Bible. Is that true?” Karl (perhaps what you call a nominal Christian) said “Yes, that’s true. None of my friends read it.” I laughed.

He asked if a white South African girl in my lab (Helen) was Jewish. She asked why. He said her ears were large (enough to take flight).

Recently he told me about foreign eating practices:

Some Africans are crazy because they eat monkey. “Don’t they have enough cattle or sheep. Are there no goats around?”

Some Asians are crazy because they eat dog. “Dog! Dog. How can you eat dog? They especially eat the fat ones and the small ones!”

The Chinese are crazy because they eat anything. “I had a friend who went there to study. After two months he had to leave because he couldn’t take it. They even eat dogs!”

July 30, 2008

The Africa I am building is an Africa with a golden platter full of many good things of which there is a stream coming out of Africa that will bless the nations of the world. The Africa that I am building has a golden platter in front of it that will never be empty and has the ability not only to feed its own people but to feed the nations of the world.

These are the words that sit at the front of my church. They are beautiful words, inspiring and pushing me, and I am constantly reminded of that as I work here and every time I go to church to worship God. I guess I can actually worship God through the work I do, if you can imagine. To see a “picture” of what my “church” (not the building) looks like, you can check out our new website below. We’re building that golden platter.


Quiz Corrections (Lettuce)

First things first. I have been told that lettuce is sold steamed and with cabbage in the Middle East. Well, if it’s sold with something else it doesn’t count because the question is asking about processing you do to a vegetable before you sell it alone as that vegetable.

Then someone said that lettuce is chopped and sold in salad. This also would not count. The vegetable must be sold as the vegetable. In other words, lettuce would have to be sold as lettuce, with the label lettuce. If it has the label salad, then it doesn’t work as an answer to the question, even if the only component of the salad is lettuce. However, my friend Credell (middle school counselor with an amazing singing voice and mean tennis backhand who keeps in touch with you religiously) said says that she has seen chopped lettuce sold as chopped lettuce. So lettuce would not work. I did not make up this question and that was the answer given for it. A second friend, Mark, also wrote me back to say lettuce is sold chopped and labeled lettuce.

The same friend then wrote me that dweeb came from the 1980’s. Perhaps I said I wasn’t sure when it came into being. I wasn’t exactly sure what question he was answering or if it was just for my knowledge.

Lately when asked where I’m from I say the US. It feels natural, anyway, but the problem is people don’t believe it because of the non-US accent. People who have heard me long enough think I have a strong US accent. So it’s a bit of a mix. A beautiful Mauritian friend of mine who came back to Cape Town from winter vacation introduced me to her Cape Town friend who speaks French. I asked where she was from thinking it was some Francophone country (she’s from South Africa). And then she asked me where I was from. I said the US. She said “No way.” My Mauritian friend, Emilie, said “But you can hear his US accent.” The other girl said no. So finally I said Nigeria and the new girl was happy. To be fair, I probably had a thicker accent during the introduction (comes when you hang around a lot of South Africans in a friendly, joking, loud atmosphere) then when Emilie would hear me in choir rehearsal (some of the choir members asked where did I get my accent from because they didn’t know).

Then some days people think I’m from SA. I was in one of those friendly, joking, loud places—a birthday party a week ago at a restaurant/bar called Faurries (I don’t know how to spell it). And I was asked by a South African where in South Africa I come from.

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