Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Daughter the African

Last night was "Country Night" for the Stretch classes at Bear's School. Each kid chooses a country and spends several weeks researching it, writing a report, and creating a visual display board. They are also responsible for dressing up like a person from that country and bringing a representative food to Country Night. There were some great country choices: India, China, France, Italy, Canada, Mexico, Ireland...

What does my kid pick? Well, the fifth graders were limited to a country from either Africa or Asia. I lobbied hard, HARD, for China (we have artifacts from Nana's China Trip! I could make stir fry!), but Bear let a classmate with an adopted Chinese sister take China. Wuss. "Fine," I tell her. "That was nice of you. What did you pick?"
"Tanzania", she tells me. TANZA-FRICKIN'-NIA! Tip: not a lot of research material out there, folks. Or photos. Or recipes. Or, well, anything.

Still, she (we) managed to cobble together a pretty decent project, and as a bonus it turns out that my kid looks darn cute in a turban. She had a minor moment when I pulled her bangs back under the turban (according to her, she is "ugly" without bangs), but I raked her bangs back out from under the cloth and narrowly averted a full-scale preteen hissy fit.

And a more full-length costume shot, along with her "Moroccan" friend:
Here is her entire project. Notice that she even painted a picture of Mt. Killamanjaro, which I thought was a nice touch.

Finding a food to take was a little dicier, since several of the recipes I managed to dredge from the depths of the Internet called for goat. Um, no. Two called for bush meat. I had to look that up, although I suspected I knew where this was heading. Yup, "primate, rodent, or ungulate" foraged from the surrounding area. Mittens came close to being a candidate for bush meat this week, but I thought the children might be upset. We made bread with coconut milk and cardamom, and a Fruits of Africa pie with mango, pineapple, and oranges. Both quite good. Who knew?

1 comment:

Nana said...

Wow! Bear looks great in her Tanzanian costume! Overall her project seems to have turned out well, but I do think you and Daddy Shortbread should have taken Bear to Tanzania so she could have given a firsthand report on Country Night. That would surely have won her a few brownie points with the teacher! :) Please share those two recipes - they sound yummy!