Last week Stan, Kanyinda told us about moussa or bidia, a staple food in Congo. This week I’ve asked him to tell us about some of the other foods he ate as a child.
“The fruit was amazing: Mangoes, papaya, oranges, and pineapple. I also liked roasted palm nuts and fried plantain (this looks like a banana, but is more starchy like a potato).
“Our mother had a garden and employed a native gardener. We had fruit trees and vegetables. We also bought eggs, bananas and other produce from the Africans. We paid for these items wit Belgian francs and sometimes my folks traded ties for eggs.”
Excuse me? You traded what?
“We traded men’s ties and colorful scarves for eggs. The Africans like the bright colors and patterns of men’s ties. They like to dress up—wear suits and ties.
“They dress up for special occasions and for church. Teachers and preachers might dress up more because of their position. Office workers in the city also wear business suits and nice dresses. Usual sights to see in the city are workers carrying their shoes while they walk miles to work barefoot. They save their shoes to keep them nice.”
Next week Stan will tell us what school was like for him in Congo.