Just a little bit of background before the story: my stomach doesn’t react well to onions or bell peppers. Well, any peppers for that matter. Yeah. Major. Upset. Stomach. It’s not fun! However, if they’re cooked right, I can usually eat cooked onions. But I try to avoid them.
Ok, now for the story.
In 2011 I met a UCAD professor of African literature at BYU during a literary conference, and now that I’m in Dakar, he often invites to to spend time with his family at their home. He invited me to come over last night after Church, so I was telling the Jones’ about it as we were eating dinner. They asked me if I thought he was going to invite me to eat with them when I was over there and I said yes. Tristan asked me something to the effect of, “Well, you just ate! How are you ever going to be hungry enough to eat?” That prompted Cecilia to ask me when I was going to take her out for gelato. Before I could reply Tristan said, “I know what we could do! We could tie you to the chair and force feed you!! It’d be so much fun!!” I have no idea where that came from. But I have to admit it was pretty hilarious. We all had a good laugh over it.
Sure enough the professor expected me to eat a bunch of food – thankfully the Senegalese tend to eat late, so I had some room. But his sister-in-law fixed a lamb and (cooked) onion dish that, normally, I can manage to eat even though I’m not a big fan of either of those ingredients. But the onions weren’t cooked enough and everything was smothered in a really spicy mustard sauce. Yeah, not the best night for my stomach. At 3 AM I woke up with a nasty, nasty upset stomach. It took me a few hours to get back to sleep.
This afternoon I went back up to Ngor to spend time with the Jones’ kids. I told them of my unfortunate encounter with the onions, they giggled, and then we got caught up in reading stories, playing, and making no-bake cookies. When we sat down for dinner and we were laughing about something. Tristan asked what we were having for dinner and Brianna replied, “Spicy chili.” Tristan said, “Uh oh, Lark, your stomach is going to be upset again.” Without missing a beat Mariah looked over at me with a mischievous grin and in with her mock bad-guy voice she said, “Lark, get over here so I can feed you some onions!!”
Oh. My. Gosh. I laughed so hard. She’s hilarious! Love that kid.