My mum being a teacher, she understands a lot when it comes to nutrition and balanced diet, this means we always had a balanced diet. At least every meal had a protein, starch and vegetables/fruit. This means we grew up as very healthy kids.
For breakfast we used to have porridge, very rich porridge because it had a mix of millet, sorghum, maize flour and milk, sometimes it could be mixed with an egg just to enrich it further. The only thing it lacked was sugar.
Our neighbours however did not have the nutrition knowledge or they did not have the food, am not sure which was the true position but I guess the later was the case. They used to have what was known as “turungi” a french name for black tea this was their complete breakfast. Sometimes it had some traces of sugar and other times it has none. At times they would put a few drops of milk which made the tea look like dirty water because it did not have enough tea leaves, no enough milk and no enough sugar.
The most interesting thing is that we wished our mum could give us black tea for breakfast, the fact that it was in other people’s houses, it was trending. We were very embarrassed to say that we took porridge for breakfast while others were having tea. I personally desired to move from our home for me to enjoy what I thought was a better life.
We were never allowed to visit our neighbours but whenever mum was away we would sneak to our neighbours and we would be served with white ugali mixed with salt. It always tasted better that our “ngunja gutu” this was a mix of maize flour, beans, traditional vegetables and sometimes pumpkins.
This reminds me when my son was 3 years old and we would drop and pick him from school. Many times he would cry that he wanted to use a Matatu to school. He did not know how much I prayed for God to bless us with a car so that we shall not carry our kids in a Matatu, not because there is something wrong with a Matatu but that was my prayer.
It’s unfortunate that we always look outside and think others are living a better life than ourselves. We do not know how much they wish to be in our position.
This is also seen in our marriages, we think our friends have better spouses that ours. How many times have you wished you were as “good looking” as your neighbour? How many times have you wished you worked where your friend is working?
Let’s water the grass where we are and make it more habitable and enjoyable for ourselves and our families.