In the last year, students have offered to get me a cat to try to fill Meri’s void. I have always declined, as I was either mourning or enjoying the concept of not being held down by a pet.
Apparently, the Lord thought it was time to fill the void.
In between rains on Monday, a canine peeped into my home office window and said hello. I thought he might be a friend’s dog, so I went out to see whether he was hurt. It wasn’t her dog, but this dog joyously jumped on me to say hello. And then he tried to come inside.
Local dogs generally are not terribly friendly, and tend to shy away from people. But not this boy. He made himself home on the verandah. Since he was so comfortable with me, I thought he had a family. I posted about him on Facebook, on Tuesday, hoping to find his family, but my friends told me that it seemed that I was chosen.
Sweet puppy kept coming around, and seemed to enjoy escorting me to chapel. So I caved, and admitted that I was adopted. Meet Tucker.
A SAMS Bridger here, also named Jessica, named him. Tucker is appropriate, as I lecture in the Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology. And he wears it well. I heard that he joined the Sunday School children on stage in church on Sunday, so it’s appropriate that he’s named after Bishop Tucker.
My students are amused with my morning escort, though they’re less amused that he parked himself in the doorway this morning, as dogs are usually security, and they are leery of maneuvering around him, despite my assurance of their safety.
I’m amazed at how quickly I’ve taken to Tucker. It’s quite a comfort to see him sitting on the verandah. I’m not about to confess how many times I’ve asked him “who’s a good boy?!” I’m a cat person. I told him this. He wasn’t impressed.
I have no idea why God brought Tucker into my life. I’m sure this sweet puppy with the crazy ears has a lot to teach me.
Over the last couple years, my discipleship group has become accustomed to an end of semester party. When we were studying the 39 Articles, we dubbed it the 40th Article. This semester, we studied spiritual disciplines, so we called it the Discipline of Fellowship.
Brian and Saul wanted to make matooke, the staple food for the Baganda, and fish. All I had to do was provide the kitchen and tea after. Sounds like a win! I had no idea how matooke was made, and was very interested to learn.
Brian brought over the matooke, fish, and spices (vegetables to make the sauce: tomatoes, onions, and green pepper). Then he started peeling the matooke. My knives have never had such a workout. Saul came and joined in the work, and soon enough, they were done.
Brian moved to the kitchen and began to work on the fish and sauce, while Saul continued with the matooke. He had retrieved some banana leaves and banana bark, and he placed the latter in a bowl crosswise, then a few banana leaves. Then he added the matooke. I was convinced it would never fit, but he proved me wrong. He then added more leaves, then tied it all tightly with the bark.
Saul then cut the spines of the banana leaves and some of the trunk so that the matooke wouldn’t touch the bottom of the pan. He added water, and voila! A matooke steam bath was born.
Now the matooke (in the pan we borrowed from the guest house because I don’t have a pan large enough) went in the stove to steam away. It eventually received another bowl as topper to trap the steam.
Brian continued to work on the fish and sauce, kicking me out of my own kitchen when I tried to help. Twice.
When the matooke had steamed enough (they kept pressing the leaves to see how soft it was), they removed it from the sauce pan, then took other leaves and mashed (though I think the proper term is “pressed”) it, working quickly because it was hot. Then it got re-wrapped for more steaming.
When it was finished, Saul then used a plate to scoop and serve, and we all enjoyed tremendously.
And out of that huge bunch of matooke (which fed 18 people) only this remained, which I gave to Saul.
Thanks be to God!