Househelpers: Kibuye Kitchen Heros

Julie’s recent blog post described the rice and beans and other creations that come out of our Kibuye kitchens.  Today I’d like to tell you who is instrumental in Kibuye kitchen work.  It’s our househelpers.  God bless them.  We love them.  They play a significant role in enabling our families to eat and live and thrive here. 

Darius masters the chapati.
Why?  As Julie mentioned, there are almost no prepared foods available here.  Almost no canned vegetables, so we wash off the dirt and cook them ourselves. No dishwashers, so every dish is washed by hand. For bread, we start with proofing the yeast. For rice, we start with sorting out rocks from grains of rice.  Obviously, these tasks, and every step from start to table, take a lot of time.  We need help in the kitchen so that we all can work outside of the kitchen and still eat every day.

We now have a cadre of nine capable, trustworthy, helpful folks who work in Kibuye missionary houses.  They generally work from 9am to 2pm, cooking, baking, washing, and cleaning.  And smiling.  It appears that every one of them enjoys the job.  They certainly have lots of bonus entertainment as we all need to speak Kirundi with them. 
Juvenal and Liam sort beans. Juvenal works hard and loves kids.

Salvatore has cooked for McLaughlins almost 4 years
Yes, there are challenges, including language blunders and a steep learning curve for everyone involved.  There are occasional mix-ups like confusing curry powder with chili powder.  We also have regular Amelia Bedelia moments, so we learn to specify very clearly what we mean by our requests.  But with work and attention, we all keep learning, and the househelpers become expert cooks with several recipes perfected over the years.
Christophe, expert bread-maker, is househelper by day, security guard by night, and pastor on the weekends, supporting his wife and 8 children.

As these househelpers help us in our homes, they also help us to understand the local culture better.  They answer our questions, and some of them correct our Kirundi.  They invite us to their homes and to cultural celebrations.

Delissa got married last summer and now continues to work 3 days per week.  This is her wedding reception.

This summer Krista attended Delissa's Guhekereza ceremony for her new baby.

Francine called us to visit in the hospital when her new baby was born.

Emelyne watches little Liam and coaches him in Burundian basket-carrying.

Our kids like to visit the home of our househelper, Amon. 

All of these Kibuye househelpers are a great blessing to us, and we are thankful for them.


Rebekah said...

What cheerful, willing examples of serving with joy!!

Sandy said...

This is a job we take for granted in America. Someone is cleaning our veggies and making bread! We often don't ever meet them! We are blessed to have well-running dryers and dishwashers. Computers to send each other messages, instead of walking to someone's home to relay the message. I still remember getting hand-written notes from you, Heather! Delivered onto my kitchen table while I was out.

Miss you! Loved this post!