It hasn't stopped. All week we've been receiving gifts of food from our friends and neighbors. I've eaten pumpkin every day. This once again confirms in our minds that they give when they have. An old woman came to see me this evening with yet another gift of pumpkin. She was thanking me for giving her some medicine for her grandchild. She told me that she'd only had one pumpkin this year and she wanted me to have it. Guilty feelings nudged into my mind. I want them to have good health. I don't want to steal their blessings...and yet it seems to be their joy to give. So, Terrill & I are receiving their gifts in the hopes that we can return the favor when dry season rolls around and there is no food in the Ik gardens. I think we've officially become part of the community. Pumpkin, greens & wild meat for dinner.
Whenever we go on walks and stop to talk to people who are working in their gardens, we usually receive a snack of roasted maize, fresh from the fire. This is our neighbor, Nacem, who was on her way home but prepared a snack for us first.
My new friend, Kuku, was bringing yet another pumpkin. Her father had heard that we liked pumpkin and had Kuku run to the garden to pick one for us.
Akoro, the midwife, stopped as we were passing her on the road and divided up her maize in order to give us half.
We walked through the garden of a man who had just trapped a duiker (small deer) that afternoon. His wife was preparing the meat and he insisted we take some. This was a special treat as the Ik don't get meat often.
Tomatoes, maize, beans, pumpkin, wild meat, cassava...and whatever else they have...they share. Maybe we could learn from them. May we remember the Iks' generosity when times get hard, and we're the only ones with enough to eat.