Sikai sana- I will not sit for long
One of my favourite things is visiting places. I went for lunch to this road-side restaurant called Sikai Sana. Sikai sana is a swahili word meaning I will not sit/ stay for long. Its a joint frequented by many people. The food is ridiculously cheap and fresh. Its one of those ones you can not get food poisoning because their food does not last long. Its ready by 12 pm and finished by 3 pm because they have so many customers.
What I like most about Sikai Sana is the conversation that flows through there. I have sat next to very interesting people with great stories. I sat some time next to 2 chaps who were very interesting. One is a truck driver and the other one is a loader come assistant called a turn-boy. The turnboy ordered for Karanga ( fried meat with very little soup) and Ugali( corn bread that not fried but looks like a cake) and the driver ordered for Karanga with cabbage and Ugali. The Karanga arrived first, so the driver and the young turnboy started eating the food together as they awaited the rest of the food( Ugali, Karanga and cabbage mix). I was amazed at their friendship and kindness to each other. The driver was talking about how tasty the meat was an how it was definately a good cut of meat. I was amazed at his knowledge about meat cuts. Its like his friend was thinking the same thing. So he asked him, how does he know about cuts, he said that he used to sell meat in a butchery several years ago.
My food eventually arrives and as I eat we chat about food and generally how life is. I had ordered Githeri ( Refried boiled maize and beans) with greens. He first asked me if it was tasty, to and I told him that it was good. He told me that next time he will order the same. He told me that he had missed eating Githeri. But its not the githeri that struck me most. I was amazed that people still care about each other and share food. It easy to be caught up with the busy life and forget the small joys of sharing food together, finding pleasure in conversation with strangers. The food quality is good, just as great as any restaurant in town. Its affordable and within reach of everyone. Surely God loves his people. There is always something for everyone. The food is priced in a way that depending on how much you want to eat, or the amount of money you have you can still eat. For example you can order for food for 50 shillings or for 100 shillings which is the same food. If you want to celebrate then you can order Nyama Choma( roasted beef/ goat with Ugali) for 150 shillings. You can choose to buy and eat from the same place or somewhere esle, but you get nourished the same way. We all get satisfied. I was definately satisfied. Just like healthcare, people pay different prices for the same procedures and consultations. Depending on how much money you have, people seek healthcare that is within their means just like the patrons of Sikai sana.
As I paid my bill, I kept reflecting on how people share resources. My patients constantly tell me about how some relative contributed towardst their surgery. In many African cultures, people share alot. They contribute money for medical bills, funeral expenses and even weddings. Sitting at Sikai Sana reminded me that we are all connected and that people still care about each other. Some may have different ways of showing it but they still care.
The picture above was taken in Ethiopia, An amazing church in Addis. Its common in several African cultures to share meals from the same plate. As we visited the cathedral, I'm reminded about God's amazing love and how he has been gracious to us. God share the most precious gift with us with great love and compassion. My hope is that we all will extend the same grace, love and sharing spirit of the 2 chaps I met at Sikai Sana. Together we can find solutions to our patients with disabilities because you never know who could need our help.