Last night I sat down to enjoy my first evening meal with my Tchadian family. They were serving beans and rice. Or so I thought. There was a rainstorm in progress so we were inside enjoying our meal on the dark, due to the absence of electricity. It was quite delicious actually.
So here I’m sitting, chewing away–yummy yum, yummy yu…crunch?
Wait, what? Cooked rice isn’t supposed I be crunchy.
Must’ve been a rock….
Pretty soon, another crunch, but more like a stick snapping. I’m really confused. Is it normal to have this many rocks and sticks in your beans? I’m not all that partial to the thought of eating them–I’m not lacking in rough-age. I dig them out of my mouth.
Before taking my next bite, I examined my food. There’s another stick. I pull it out. Season now notices and holds out her hand. I give her the troublesome stick.
“Ah, poisson.” She says. That would be helpful, if I knew French.
“It’s fish,” Brian translates.
I did say I was vegetarian, but I also said I was willing to try fish. And now, I’ve tried it. I will admit it was pretty tasty. But I cannot handle the munching of a poor fishy’s bones. I lost my appetite. I wish they would’ve just let me think it was sticks and rocks! I would’ve never known the difference…at least until the bite that felt like it was the whole skeleton in my mouth. I almost gagged on that one.
I think it will be easier to stay vegetarian completely.
“No poisson. Vegetarian.” I tell Sedonnie. She laughs at me.
I will never forget the French word for fish: Poisson. Poison? I think so.
*This was originally posted on Mikayla Baird’s blog on September 30, 2014. Mikayla is a student missionary from Walla Walla University serving as a Public Health Assistant at Bere Adventist Hospital in Chad. This has been re-posted with her permission.