On Monday afternoon at dismissal, one of my parents gave me a thoughtful gift. The gift? Biltong – a South African snack of lean meat that has been cut into strips then dried and salted. This snack is not easily found here. What I have bought previously has not been salted and spiced correctly. Beef jerky (the American equivalent) does not compare. The packet I received on Monday was perfectly cured and brought to my mouth a taste of home.
You may be asking yourself why the mother of my student would give me such a gift. My student’s father grew up in South Africa, Johannesburg in a suburb that I know well. We have reminisced together about places and foods we had once eaten. He mentioned once that he had found the perfect tasting biltong at a butchery not far from where we live. He must have relayed our conversation tto his partner as the next packet his wife bought (who is not from South Africa), she passed onto me.
This week I am grateful for the thoughtfulness and kindness of a woman who understands what it is like to miss the tastes from your home country. I am thankful to have tasted a little of my past and to have savoured a snack I had not eaten and enjoyed for five years.
What have you been grateful for this week? Share your comments or the link to your post below.
© Colline Kook-Chun, 2018