How I Found Myself Talking About Seal Intestines Over Dinner

It was that one fateful night when a Tongan, an Alaskan, and a Nebraskan all got together and talked about food.

Seal intestines, wild bores, and corn. The waitress’s lips curved into an amused smile as she delivered our steaming plates of burritos while we laughed, and joked about how we grew up. Three of us sitting in a booth in a Mexican restaurant. Three different cultures. Three different types of food. And three differently pitched voices chiming in, overlapping, in a wild crazy quilt design of a conversation. My Tongan Fella, a wrestler from Alaska, and myself were having our own type of melding of cultures all over a bowl of chips.

My eyes grew round as oysters as I listened to them describe the various dishes they grew up eating. Dishes cooked in animal blood. Various animals I would not let near my mouth. Food that to my squeamish ears sounded strange, exotic, and odd. I laughed along with them as they told stories. I tried to relate my own misconceptions about both places, and took their vocabulary and tried to implement it into my own. My mind reached out with fearful fingers, and tried to grasp on to the stories they told, and interpret them for my own brain.

And somewhere in the conversation they began talking about corn. About Nebraska. About the people I grew up with, and suddenly I was the one imparting culture, and they were the ones listening. Laughing. Learning. Because in the end each of us needed to be heard.

Never would I have found myself at that table if not for the man that I love, but he has taken my hand in his, and has slowly pushed open the doors that kept me from exploring. He has linked my arm through those of other cultures, and backgrounds, and rather than making me feel smaller this has made me feel wider, larger, more expansive.

And I stand, beside him, a kiekie wrapped around my waist. My hair the color of freshly husked corn, and his Polynesian smile beaming brightly. Our two cultures threading together in a fantastically colored tapestry by the only One I trust to take on such a challenge, and to create such a work of art.

Photo taken by the fabulous Nicole Creations Photography.
Photo taken by the fabulous Nicole Creations Photography.

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This week I linked up with Missional Woman’s Faith Filled Friday where a group of ladies come together every week to write about various aspects of our faith.

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Comments

    • He would probably greatly enjoy the chicken feet, Mom. I will have to ask him. 😉 It was kind of surreal hearing him and this Alaskan kid going back and forth about food. They were both cut from the same cloth I think! So funny.

  1. How interesting getting deeply involved in various cultures is. I can only imagine the wonder of embracing those differences as a family. Though some things might seem crazy, particularly foods, God is creating a wonderful tapestry with all the variations. We lived in Japan for four years, and it was an amazing experience. Visiting from Faith Filled Friday.

  2. What a wonderful cultural meld! You have chosen a wonderful adventure for the rest of your life. I trust this is only the beginning! Yes, we want to hear more – seal intestines and all. I haven’t tried seal but I’ve had rattlesnake (its good and it isn’t like chicken) and I even (accidentally) ate chicken feet once (didn’t like them) at a Chinese dim sum restaurant in Washington, DC.
    Alana recently posted…Fog and FallMy Profile

    • Wow, Alana, you make rattlesnake sound good! I have tried {via Saia’s encouragement} pig brain, pig eye, and pig tongue. Also various animal organs I would not have tried otherwise. Ha! Chicken feet do not sound very appetizing. I would think they would be tough. But good for you for being such an adventurer!

  3. Great photo! Traveling internationally makes it easier to try new foods. I remember the first time I was in Japan and eating at the Sushi Bar. For some reason watching the food go by on a conveyor belt and choosing it quickly made it easier for me to eat new foods. I found out I love eel. It is one of my favorites.

    On the other hand, after being in India and seeing how the chickens were transported on bikes, ruined my ability to eat chicken.

    Intestines, ah, I don’t think so.
    Candess recently posted…The Prostitute ArchetypeMy Profile

    • I have never tried eel, but I have heard that it is actually quite appetizing. Good for you, Candess, for being so courageous in your food choices! Saia convinced me to try pig brain, pig tongue, and pig eye in our first month of dating. I think it was a sort of test to see how adventurous I was. 😉 It sounds like you have traveled a lot, and I would love to hear your stories some time!

    • I am glad you like pig intestines! You would have fit into our conversation nicely, I think! I think it is so important to be open to new experiences, and it sounds like you are, Lily. Good for you!

  4. Everyone has something interesting to share. No matter who you are, there is someone out there who wants to hear what you have to say.

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