Fat = Healthy

The Tompkins family at Mukinge Hospital, Zambia, who are currently part of the Post-Residency Training Program (which we will enter next year), have a great comment on one of my favorite Africa cross-culture-isms. Their blog is here. Enjoy:

"While we were sitting outside at Violet’s house, several kids came around to stare at the funny visitors. Some of the kids were Violet’s grandchildren or nieces/nephews and some were just neighbors. Violet was commenting on the fact that Zachary is as tall as her 5 year old granddaughter and then she said that it made good sense that he was tall because “his father is tall and fat, and his mother is tall and fat.” She said this complete with hand motions demonstrating the enormity of my body habitus. Well excuse me, but Elissa is with child (and looks beautiful by the way) and I’m down over 20lbs in the last 3 months. So I’m not sure if by fat she meant “healthy” or just “fat”, and I didn’t bother to ask. We laughed and I know she didn’t mean anything hurtful but, speaking only for myself, I know I’m quite huge compared to most folks in the village. However, by my calculations, if I continue to drop pounds at this rate, I’ll weigh about 13 lbs when we return home in 2 years. And in 6wks Elissa is going to drop 30lbs pretty quickly. So there you go…there is hope for us after all."

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