Meg shares a birthday with St. Valentine’s honored day of love. For her whole life the day of her birth was clouded by heart shaped candy, roses and couple’s rushing around making dinner plans. I was determined to remind all of Moyamba to forget cupid and that it was Wuya’s birthday. Most people got the hint. One thing about Sierra Leoneans, that I am sure all your frequent dispatch readers have read time and time again, I can’t say enough about how generous and warm Moyambians are and the whole town I think made her birthday special.
I thought it was imperative we have a birthday cake. Thankfully, Mom Sinning was thinking the same thing and knows I lack significant culinary talents. Mom had sent me some freeze dried camping food. One was a package of blueberry cheesecake. Since, I have yet to figure out how to bake with my charcoal stove, I was ecstatic that bday cake was only a little hot water and ten minutes away.
Like everything we do, it’s always under close supervision of small children. Wuya and I ate some amazing cassava leaves, which were gifted to Meg by her neighbors. When I started pouring hot water into a plastic bag, the kids started to become interested or at least confused. “Fatmata, wetin yu de du?” (what are you doing). I told them I was cooking it. One of the boys goes, ok, so this is how pumois (white people) cook. They waited in apprehension as the freeze dried cheesecake become back to it’s smooth, edible form. After it was done, I showed the boys and they were shocked. “I like the way you cooooook it, I like the way you cooook it” they kept saying over and over. “It’s pumoi magic! It’s pumoi magic” Never knew I could be a magician by adding hot water to a plastic bag.