It made me think. I grew up in a society where children are asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Everything is a possibility. Opportunity is available. Success is achievable. You want to be a brain surgeon? Go for it! Study hard and apply yourself. You want to be an actress? Get involved in a local playhouse and chase your dreams. You want to be an electrician? There is no shortage of opportunity or job availability! Your profession will always be useful. Learn at a college or study under a skilled electrician. That isn’t the way it is here, or in most places in the world. I grew up believing I could be whatever I wanted to be. I still believe that! Someday, when I’m old and I’ve raised my kids and have more free time, I’d like to open a small cafe. There isn’t a thing in me that makes me believe I couldn’t do it! But here, when I hear, “I want to be an actress” or “I want to be a pilot”, I think, “There is no way.” I’m not trying to be pessimistic! I want to be optimistic! I want to believe that the opportunity is there. But I know better. The funding isn't there for schooling. The jobs aren’t there to be filled. There is only an up hill climb for anyone in Lesotho who wants to be something out of the ordinary. So I encourage her, study hard. Try to go to university in South Africa. Try to build your credentials and maybe, just maybe, you’ll get a break. But in my heart, I feel the truth. It’s so unlikely, it’s nearly impossible. I pray she can finish high school and I pray, with God’s grace and lots of determination, she will have the future she dreams of having. And I pray her parents and grandparents are easy on her, because she’s obviously a brilliant student who probably just spends too much time on English and not enough time on math.
In other Mokhotlong news…..
I found sweet potatoes in South Africa a couple weeks ago. It’s a rare find. I’ve only ever found them once before. I snatched two bags and have been dreaming of what all I wanted to do with them. I found this recipe for chocolate sweet potato cake in one of my go-to Taste of Home cookbooks and decided to give it a try. I followed the recipe with a few simple adjustments. Firstly, 2 cups of sugar is ridiculous. I cut it in half and judging by the batter, it’s plenty sweet! Recipes almost always call for way more sugar than necessary. Then, 2 cups of pecans. Seriously? Have you priced pecans lately? No. No way. I don’t use 2 cups of pecans in a month and I’m certainly not dumping that many in a cake. I buy pecans fresh from the health food store in South Africa at the cheapest price around and they are still painfully expensive. So, I just grabbed a handful of those cherished nuts and chopped them up well before tossing them in. Then to add some more texture and yum due to the lack of pecans, I added a handful of chocolate chips. Obviously. I will split it up and take it to my neighbors for safe keeping, since I can’t be held accountable for what would happen to this chocolate sweet potato cake should it all remain in my home.
Dinner tonight is ribs, which come from my favorite butchery. I’ve become such a butchery snob. They are cheaper than the grocery stores here, and the meat is so fresh and customizable. I always get just what I want. I’m using some of the barbecue sauce my mom brought because I have enough to take a bath in, and because it’s amazing and tastes like home. Thanks, Selena! I rubbed the ribs with Fat Jake's, a spice blend a friend makes. It's so good! I’m making these potatoes because cream cheese improves everything and fresh carrots because we bought them along the road-side this week and they are beautiful. I know ya’ll think we are really suffering up here, eating unidentifiable food and never having a treat. Sorry not sorry for shattering the image of poor, unfortunate, sacrificing missionaries. It’s not such a bad existence, I promise. You should try it!
Off I go to wake Sadie from her nap because she’s sleeping too long and I want to sleep tonight. Hope you all have your Christmas decorations down. I believe today is the deadline. Mine are all down, it took me about 5 minutes.