Like last week, a little two year old girl was coming to sit on my lap. I noticed that she was covered in some sort of black goo, and it smelled REALLY bad. Poop. It smelled like poop.
My husband was sitting right beside me and asked, "Do you think that's Kuka or poop?" (Kuka is a nut that has to be soaked in water for a long time before it is eaten or it will kill you. It is put in the water for four weeks, then pulled out for the village to enjoy together. But it smells like poop. I have not had to taste it yet, thank goodness).
"I don't know."
"Which one do you want it to be?, " he said with a chuckle.
This question started a deep debate about which would be better- to have a tiny child in your lap covered in poop, or a tiny child in your lap covered in kuka.
Guess which smelly substance won?
Yes. We both decided that we would rather the tiny child in my lap be covered in poop. Because once you wash poop, the smell comes out and you can forget it ever happened. When kuka touches you or anything on you the smell stays forever. You have to burn your clothes exfoliate your skin until it bleeds, and then maybe two months later you will no longer smell the rotting stench of kuka.
We then realized that we had to evaluate the life choices that we have made to bring us to the point of preferring a tiny child covered in poop to a tiny child covered in something stinky but edible.*
And today I was making pizza crust and I had to choose between two different bags of flour. One was really old. I've had it since February and it was filled with bugs and worms. It still smelled normal though, and I knew I could sift all the visible creatures out (although I knew their larva, too tiny to be caught by even my tightest woven sifter, still lived in the flour but out of sight out of mind, right?).
The other bag of flour was new. I received it on the last flight, but it smelled and tasted very strongly of soap. Sometimes items are shipped to this country in containers with cleaning products and those products permeate everything that is locked in with them. Right now I have 5 bags of soap tasting brown sugar, four bags of soap tasting Cheerios, 5 bags of soap tasting M&Ms, and about 30 kgs of soap tasting flour.
Welcome to my life.
Anyway, after very little thought, I chose the buggy wormy flour over the soap flour because after all, you can't taste the bugs!
Again, my husband made a comment about my choice of worms over soap, and laughed.
Worms over soap. Poop over food? What got me to this point in my life. Did I take some sort of wrong turn somewhere? Why am I having to choose between poop and stink-clinging foods. Between wormy flour and soapy flour when other 30-somethings are trying to decided which smart phone to buy?
After very little thought, I decided that this was just par for the course of life as a missionary, and while some of my peers might have an iPhone 5, I have an endangered species for a pet, and some really cool friends who like to put pig tusks through their septum piercings just to make me laugh.
Kuka, worms, tree kangaroos, pig tusk accessories- ALL WORTH IT!
I am very thankful for the life God has given me even when I have to make these very weird and sometimes gross choices!
*I am using the term edible very loosely here