Posted by: michelle g | December 9, 2008

meals and more

Every mid-day meal we eat Ugandan fare prepared for us by Jennifer.   We purchase the food and Jennifer makes it all very tasty.  I think we will expand on the variety of meals when we know where to buy more things for Jennifer to cook…but for now, we are content.  The main staple of a Ugandan meal is “matoke”.  It is made from plantains (green bananas) cooked and mashed.  It is most often prepared for us wrapped in banana leaves from the trees in our yard.   The meal also may have rice, maize (a white pasty flour-the girls call them “clouds”), beans, peas, carrots, beef, chicken, fish, tomatoes, onion and fresh garlic.  We kinda pushed the girls to eat the food for the first few weeks.  They are excellent eaters of various foods anyway, but one day, Line cried and said, “no more matoke”.  After that we let up.  I made them a bit of American food each lunch and still offered Ugandan food as well.  After a week, they forgot about the American food and they eat a full plate of Ugandan food with no problem.  They even ask for “matoke”.  This food adjustment has been so helpful because now they will be accustomed to the food for the times we travel out into the village.  They are happy to eat all the food with their hand just like anyone else.

Home.  Home sweet home.  When we arrived in Uganda, we had a home that Jacob had procured on his previous trip in October.  The home he chose was arranged two hours before his flight back to the U.S.  It suited us quite well and it had the monkeys as you read earlier.  But due to some management and security issues we had to move at the end of the first month.  Ugandan church leaders helped us identify and shift to a new home and get a refund on the months remaining on the lease for the first house once we introduced a new tenant to the landlady–the refund was a minor miracle!  This new home is very secure and we are able to come and go with no worries.  The girls love this new home very much.  It has a nice yard and they feel very free here.  It has made our lives and adjustment much easier already.  We don’t have monkeys here but we have a beautiful porch, yard and view of Lake Victoria from the bedroom balcony.  This home also has solar power so we are always able to have electricity and running water 24 hours a day.  There is something very nice about urban living in Africa.



  1. What?! No monkeys? We’ll have to remedy that.

    So glad to hear this news. And I’m intrigued to see what matoke is like. Are the banana leaves cooked & eaten as well, or do they act more as a wrapper?

  2. The leaves are just an earth-friendly wrapper and insulator. I’ll post some pics of matoke and create a sample of the taste and smell for you to play in your Flavortronic 2000. There are one or two Ugandan restaurants in the Twin Cities where you could experience it as well!

  3. Michelle, thanks for the update on the food and house! Jake posted some photos and i wondered if the house was in a few of them. so, give me an idea of the location? are you closer to Lutheran Media? along Gaba road? why no monkeys? are the walls too high? guards too strict? Tell the girls ‘No more monkeys jumping on the bed!’ Matoke is fine food, but a steady diet would take getting used to. where do you shop for fruits and vegetables? has Jennifer moved into the staff quarters or does she go home to family at 4pm? last night i had to shovel, as Dad is gone for 3 days at camp, and i kept thinking of the girls and if they would like to play in the snow! Maybe they would for a day and then they would want to put on their sundresses and play in the warm African sun! i know i would prefer to be in a sundress today instead of long underwear! have you made the peanut butter kiss cookies with the girls yet? how about a candy cane to kick off Christmas?? got to go! Love, mom

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