As i sipped some traditional maize porridge this morning memories came flooding back of a simpler time. When i was young and I used to go visit my Cucu. I remember the fermented porridge she used to make, simply delicious. Sometimes during the day we would put dry maize with cobs in gunias and beat them with sticks to remove the grain,then put them in uteo’s which were pepetad up and down to remove fluff.
Going down to the shamba to help Cucu with weeding.I remember learning how to milk a cow,that was a scary experience.The smelly pigs that had to be checked on and rabbits that were always reproducing. Learning to pick eggs from under the chicken and learning the gruesome task of killing a chicken, putting it in hot water and plucking its feathers.
I will never forget seeing the boys learn how to kill a goat, skin it and cook the different delicacies like mutura and roasted meat. Who can forget that first taste of meat, ambrosia. At night, we would seat by the 3 stone fire, feeding it with firewood we had cut during the day. We would huddle by the fire warming ourselves as we told stories. The aroma of baking sweet potatoes and maize that we had put to roast would fill the air. We would wait with bated breath for the maize to roast so that we could sink our teeth into them. I so miss that mukumo my Cucu used to make, that we used to drink with some tea.
My Cucu was so traditional yet modern. I used to love the fact that we wouldn’t wash clothes by hand but use a washing machine. If we were good sometimes she made chips for lunch or pancakes for breakfast. And how we were so naive we thought air freshener was perfume and we used to spray it all over ourselves to smell good.
I remember the frightening sight the first time i saw a set of false teeth in a glass, i think i cried for hours. And in those days how i was a tomboy, climbing trees to get maperas. We used to run to my Cucu’s neighbour’s shamba to steal blueberries and apples, running like the wind when the caretaker came. I so loved going to Cucu’s house because she would spoil us like our parents never did.
Now my Cucu has gone to be with the Lord and all i have are the memories that keep her alive in my heart. She will always be alive in my heart and i know one day i will see her again. She gave me so much and taught me so many things that remain with me. I got my name Rayhab Wangari from her and i carry it proudly. I am privileged to have known her and been loved by her and loved her in return. I think the most important lesson that she taught me was about loving God with all your heart. As i sip my porridge my heart goes back to the memories of being young and going to my grandma’s house.