As we approach the final two weeks of our stay here in Uganda, we notice that we’ve become fairly accustomed to the local culture. We stuff our faces with Ugandan cuisine at the dinner table, we regularly attended religious services and ceremonies, and we operate on what’s known here as “Africa time.” But part of living in a new community is the exchange of cultures, so we felt it was time to bring a little piece of home to Uganda-through food, of course.
Earlier in the trip, we found out that another muzungu (Rutooro for “foreigner”) in the area had Kraft marshmallows from the States that she had been waiting to use. We had graham crackers and chocolate, so it was a match made in heaven: we would introduce s’mores to Uganda.
We gathered the Ugandans living with us in our community partner’s compound around a small charcoal stove usually used for roasting corn, and demonstrated how to “properly” roast a marshmallow. The adults caught on pretty fast, but some of the kids were incredibly overwhelmed. They didn’t want to get too close to the fire, and screamed if their marshmallow started to burn. The youngest kids didn’t even want to eat their final product — it was just a little too sweet and messy for their liking.
Of course the snack was delicious, but I think our team’s favorite part of the night was the smiles and laughter that came from trying to explain a seemingly silly American concept to people who had never seen a marshmallow before. It may seem insignificant, but sharing even a simple snack from your culture can do wonders in bringing people together.