Tuesday, June 25, 2013

African Moments: Mixed Berry Yogurt

I was visiting friends in Zimbabwe a week or so back... they have a man who helps them around the house named Sam.

It’s hard to guess Sam’s age just by looking at him. His brown eyes clouded in cataracts tell me he is more on the end of life than the middle of it.

The years have not been kind to him, but you would never know it from his demeanor!

Greying with a slight hunch, he greets all visitors with cheerful (yet broken) English and a huge smile.

Sam loves Jesus and as such, there is kindness and love in all he does.

One day Sam introduced me to the gardener, Louis, by saying, “Dis is Stephanie. She missionary. She loves Jesus. She number one!”

With such a glowing recommendation, I could not help but smile. Louis smiled back and we chatted a bit about Mozambique. Louis is Mozambican by birth but has lived in Zimbabwe for a number of years.

Later that same day, I was enjoying (an overpriced but delightful) mixed berry yogurt I’d found in the supermarket.

As I savored the creamy splendor of ‘home’, I asked Sam if he liked yogurt. He smiled and said he didn’t know.

-- “What do you mean ‘you don’t know’? I asked flatly.
He continued to wash the dishes with his back turned to me, then repeated himself. “I don’t know the taste.”
-- “Here...”, I offered him, putting a glob of it in a small bowl. “Try it. You’ll like it.”
He smiled and took it with joy, but then put it aside until the dishes were done.

And I went back to slurping mine down.

A few minutes later, Louis passed by the half-opened door and Sam eagerly called him over. Happy to share his new treasure, Sam spooned out a generous glob of his portion into Louis’ cupped hand.

I smiled widely as I watch Louis lick the yogurt tentatively from his hand while heading back to work. His eyes brightened with the taste.

Shortly afterward, Sam took his first bite and smiled widely.

They agreed it was delicious.

Sigh.

Do you remember your first bite of mixed berry yogurt?