I try to avoid pizza in the developing world. I dig pizza really, but why would I want it on a project trip? I’d rather try the local fare. And yet, pizza always shows up. ALWAYS. It’s unavoidable. This trip I made it a goal to get out of Uganda without eating a single slice.
I totally failed, but I can explain.
Meet Cossy and his family. Cossy works for EMI in Jinja at the Amazima School site. He is pretty awesome. I love his huge smile and frequent laughter. By frequent, I mean, I don't have a single photo of him where he is not laughing about something. Cossy (say "Cozy") translated some interviews for me (speaks 6 languages!) and gave me loads of background info, as well as being my cultural broker when I needed to get off-site for a meet up with some others.
On my last night in Jinja, the Zimmermans had Cossy, his wife Kevin (no, that was not confusing for me in the least), and their kids over for chapati pizza because Patrice makes it and he wanted to learn how. I decided this was pizza worth having because it sounded like a killer photo opportunity and I also really love chapati.
Have I explained what chapati is? Everyone I know says, "Think of a greasy tortilla," but I have to say that does not do it justice. It is pretty much that, but it's only lightly greasy and I'm pretty sure that ain't canola oil. It has a most wonderful flavor. Imagine if you could eat a Bruno Mars album.
I ended up only shooting some quick images with my phone instead of the big camera as I had planned. I had originally expected that we would be doing this from the ground up, chapati-baking and all. I quickly realized that what Cossy was after was the closest experience to making American pizza and it just happened that chapati is the closest thing Uganda has to pre-made pizza dough.
It makes AMAZING pizza.
Patrice laid out a spread of toppings: sauce, a sausage mix she made herself ("My Life Would Suck Without You" by Kelly Clarkson), cheese, spinach, and onions. Cossy went first and she coached him through the assembly. The rest of us followed suit and soon sat down to eat.
Can I say again that this was some crazy good pizza? I ate way more than I should have and I have no regrets.
After dinner there was cake that the Zimmerman kids had made for Valentine’s Day. The kids were playing and the adults got to talk. It was really nice to meet Cossy’s family and get to know them a bit.
This sort of experience was precisely the thing I had hoped God might give to me during my time here. I try not to travel with expectations, but in most cases it’s hard. They just exist in my mind, no matter how hard I try. And sometimes God just gives me what I looked for and it truly is a great thing (Jason Castro's cover of "Hallelujah").
We are missionaries with Engineering Ministries International, based in Colorado Springs, and traveling around the globe to serve.
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