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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Goodie Bags

With Christmas fast approaching, people all over the world are searching for the perfect gifts for those special people in their lives.  Since I have moved to Lagos, I have learned many different things.  I think one of the most profound things I have learned while living here is how much I have in my life which I take for granted.  To many people here, plenty of food and light are considered luxuries.  My first year here, I helped to make gift bags for the teachers out at the beach school.  I remember thinking, I wonder how they gift certificates here......oh my gosh, I was sooooooo green!!!!  I quickly learned what is most appreciated by most staff is a bag of "goodies".  These are the following "goodies" I have learned about while living here, and a few of the the things I fill their goodie bags with each Christmas...

this one is new....

I wrote about this D light in this post.  I think it is a huge necessity for everyone here without reliable power!!!

Garri is a very popular food eaten in Nigeria.  This Garri powder can be combined with hot water to form a soft dough which is then eaten with soup or stew. To read more about what garri is click here.
Pounded yam is also a very popular food.  In many parts of Africa it is considered a delicacy.  The pounded yam in the picture is a dried form which can be combined with boiling water until the right consistency is achieved.  To make real pounded yam, it is just like how it sounds.  the yams are pounded until they are made into a consistent type of dough...which is a lot of work!!!! I guess that's why there is the powdered kind.:)  To read more about pounded Yam, click here.
Semolina is also a favorite in many Nigerian households.  I never realized that when I was little and loved Cream of Wheat, that I was eating semolina.   Semolina is eaten much like garri is eaten here.  To read more about semolina, click here.
Other things I usually include are things like cans of sardines, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomatoes, spaghetti, cooking oil, rice , beans, and salt.
Then, I usually put everything into a "Ghana Must Go!" bag.  I am not kidding ...that's what the Nigerians here call those bags.  Apparently back in the '80's Ghanaians were making many Nigerians leave Ghana.  So, Nigeria turned around and made many Ghanaians leave Nigeria, and these bags were born!  Hence the name "Ghana must go!"  They are nice and big and relatively strong enough to hold all the heavy items.:)  To read more about Ghana Must Go! bags, click here.   This week is a busy one for me getting packed up to go back to the States to see my friends and family on Friday, and getting my gifts ready for teachers, and "goodies" for my staff.:) I am learning a new appreciation for the many different kinds of gifts that are out there.:)

1 comment:

  1. HA-I forgot all about 'Cream of Wheat'! Loved the post. I know you are getting excited to jump on the plane! Tell the good ole US I said, "hello" email me a US phone number so I can call you while you are there! (I miss talking)