Like so many other "normal" things, cooking changed when we arrived in Papua. Western products are expensive and I don't know how to prepare Indonesian meals. Dairy, a major part of our normal diet, is hardly used here at all. Top that off with the exhaustion of language school and cooking felt down right impossible.
So we did something I thought we'd never do. We hired a cook.
While my brain is turning to mush everyday learning new words and phrases in class, our neighbor Oma is happily preparing mouth watering Indonesian lunches and dinners.
Oma's food is absolutely delicious and I felt guilty with every mouthful.
Guilty because this is supposed to be my job, but I can't hack cooking here. Guilty because people might think we're being frivolous with donations.
Guilt, that old unwelcome friend.
Truth is my job right now is to make it through language learning and adjusting to the culture with my family intact, not be wonder mom. Truth is Oma's food is delicious and it's less expensive than buying imported western products.
Truth is when "Mommy, please can I have more bean sprouts and tofu?" became a regular part of my three year old's dinner conversation, I knew we'd be just fine without my cooking.
So I kicked guilt to the curb and enjoyed another bite of Oma's lemon ginger steamed tofu.
|Oma's home cooking. One of my favorite meals. |