Food (not so) Safe

Today I succesfully completed the Food Safe course. It is a course that you are required by law to take if you plan to work around food. It goes through basic safety precautions (much of which is common sense) inorder to prevent the general public from food borne illnesses (aka food poisoning).

As we went through the information, I couldn’t help but think about how wrong we treated our food in Kenya. It’s amazing that I have never gotten sick from food. I couldn’t help but giggle as I remembered the things I have eaten and the way they were prepared. They are definitely unacceptable according to the standards here in British Columbia. Here are a few examples:

Standards in B.C: Raw meat must be stored in a refridgerated environment at a temperature of 4 degrees Celcius or less.
Reality in Kenya: When you want raw meat, you must go to the local butchers, show him the piece that you want and he will cut off the appropriate limb from the carcass hanging in the window.

Standards in B.C: Fish must be refridgerated almost immediately after being killed.
Reality in Kenya: Raw fish bakes all day long in the hot sun of Mombasa. Fisherman lay it in the streets untill it is all sold.

Standards in B.C: Be careful not to ingest any harmful chemicals!
Reality in Kenya: Vegetables must be bleached inorder to avoid getting sick.

Standards in B.C: Eggs must be refridgerated. The carton must be kept on the bottom shelf incase one breaks and spills onto other items.
Reality in Kenya: Eggs are bought in plastic bags and kept on the counter.

Standards in B.C: Thorough handwashing in restaurants is absolutely necessary. This process goes as follows: turn on warm water, lather hands in liquid soap, rub each hand in a rotary motion for at least 30 seconds, rinse hands with warm water and let water drip down from the wrists to the finger tips, turn off taps and use paper towel  or air dryer  to dry your hands.
Reality in Kenya: Thorough handwashing in restaurants is somewhat necessary providing there is a sink available. This process goes as follows: turn on the one shaky tap (that is only cold water), take the dirty bar of soap  or the plastic pop bottle with watered down liquid soap in it, lather hands, wash as much as possible with the little dribbles of water coming out of the tap, turn off the tap and wipe your hands on your skirt to dry them.

Needless to say, our standards in B.C. are a little different than the ones in Kenya. As I learned about the various sicknesses that we can get from food, I thanked God for His protection. His mighty hand is ultimately in control of these crazy bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi!

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Broken Plans

I was hoping that by now I would have all the details of my upcoming return to Kenya all in order. Obviously that was MY plan, not HIS plan. In my head, I had imagined that right now I would be spending my time raising support, slowly starting to pack, getting vaccines, planning go-away parties, etc. I would be more relaxed and laid-back compared to the other 3 times where all the plans came together very last minute. I had hoped to have starting blogging and writing more. I had hoped to have all things booked and visa applications in process. I had hoped that when people asked me about my plans, there would be something to share.

Nope. It is less than two months away from my anticipated departure date and I have no plans. OK, that’s not true. I have broken plans. Plans that seem to be in a million little pieces. The part that I hate the most is that I can’t do anything about it! I have done what I can here on my end and am now waiting. Waiting for responses from people across the world, waiting to start raising support, waiting to see if I can afford a new computer, waiting to book plane tickets, waiting to get an international driver’s license, waiting, waiting, waiting.

But my faith is remaining strong. My heart is working on being flexible to God’s great plans. My anxious mind is trying to keep focused on the tasks of the day. And my patience is having it’s perfect work in me.

He knows that plans He has for me. He already knows them. He knows all the logistics and details. He knows the timing and the cost. He knows the flight numbers. He knows it all. Sometimes I just wish He would reveal them to me now. But I trust Him. I know this time is for me. For me to learn something and to grow in Him. So for that I am thankful.

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