At one point, she is in Morocco, and is offered a cup of coffee by Africans on the street. Politely, she takes the coffee and drinks, but seeing cockroaches crawling on the ground, when she feels something on her tongue, she is sure it is a cockroach. Again, out of politeness, she drinks the cup dry, counting four cockroaches. She doesn't tell the story to anyone, though she is sick for a month thinking about swallowing those cockroaches.
Then, one day, she picks up a well-worn copy of Reader's Digest and reads an article titled, "African Tribes Traveling from the Sahal to North Africa".
She writes, "I learned that many tribes who follow the old routes from Mali, Chad, Niger, Nigeria, and other Black Africa countries, crossing the Sahara en route to Mecca or Algeria or Morocco and the Sudan, carry little cash but live by the barter system. They swap goods for goods, but they will spend their scarce money to buy raisins. In order to honor and show respect to visitors, they will put three to five raisins into a small cup of coffee."
On another note, my local independent book stores are sending out notices on this scandalous behavior by Amazon, a plan set up to put them out of business.
Support your local independent book stores. They are warm, cozy, wonderful meeting places, and offer more than books. You can do your holiday shopping. The ones around here wrap for free. There's $5.00 saved right there.
The days continue to shorten. It is a time to pull within and warm by this on-line hearth we share.
Beautiful Holiday Wishes to Us All!