Foreign Foods and Long Locks

Below is another “recycled” blog from 2005 since my October is crazy busy. As I reread it, I was reminded first of how much it can expand our worldview to get to know people from other cultures and to learn about their lives. The second thing it reminded me of is how fast life goes by—the almost-sixth-grader in this post is now a sophomore in college, and her parents and brother are back in Kenya without her. But Locks of Love is still helping kids with cancer and is still a great cause!

Foreign Food and Long Locks

Les and I enjoyed a global weekend. Saturday night our Chinese friends Xiaofeng and Xiaoyan invited us to our local Chinese festival where Xiaoyan would be dancing. We, in turn, invited Karl, Elizabeth, Steven and Shona to come with us, since we had planned to be together for dinner. We ate delicious food; I especially liked the rice cooked in bamboo leaves. The rice is blended with almond paste and almonds—maybe something else I couldn’t identify—and then it’s wrapped in the bamboo, tied like a package and cooked (how I’m not sure). You don’t eat the bamboo (Xiaoyan laughed at me when I asked), so you unwrap it, break off a chunk of rice and dip it in sugar. How can anything dipped in sugar be bad?

The folk dancers wore beautiful costumes and each dance was unique to a Chinese people group. Our other entertainment favorites included unique musical instruments, the dragon and lion dances, and Chinese opera (more like a funny pantomime, with a quick-change masked man).

Sunday we went for Mexican food with the Stoltzfus family. The Stoltzfuses—Lamar and Janice, and their children, Alyssa and Donovan—are headed to Kenya to serve as dorm parents at Rift Valley Academy, a school for missionary kids. Both Lamar and Janice are teachers and both had asked for sabbaticals, which were denied. Now they need to raise $40,000 in support by mid-July in order to get to Kenya in mid-August. That would discourage me, but they are just excited to watch God provide. We had a long lunch, munching Mexican food, and talking about their trip and our church and our lives.

At some point, Alyssa, who will be in sixth grade in Kenya, mentioned that she had donated 18 inches of hair a few years before to Locks of Love, and she was growing her hair long again, hoping to make another donation when she returns from Kenya. I googled Locks of Love, found their website and learned that the organization uses donated hair to create custom hair pieces for kids who “suffer from long-term medical hair loss.” What a wonderful way for anyone willing to grow their hair at least 10 inches to painlessly improve someone else’s life. So if your hair is weighing you or your kids down, check out the donation instructions on the website and give a hairy gift.

Originally posted Monday, June 20, 2005 9:06 PM

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