Monday, June 17, 2013

Lively Food for Thought at Café Desta


For May's Food for Thought dinner a record number of us (31) gathered at the hospitable Cafe Desta where we shared a delectable meal, big platters of lovely spiced vegetables and meat. We scooped up our food with traditional Ethiopian injera bread made with teff flour. Our hosts were very attentive and happy to talk to us-Catalina Rotarian and Kirk Reed even tried to put nametags on the refugee staff. We had interesting and lively conversations with the eight guest refugees. I was so happy to see many new people at this dinner.Robbie Dick spoke with Gamiel from Darfur at length but sometimes he had to draw pictures for her to understand as he described some Sudanese marriage customs.

LeVonne Kelly said that she enjoyed visiting with Amani, a young woman originally from South Sudan. She was so excited because she had just graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Development from Pima Community College. She already has a job working with young children, yet plans to further her education soon. Gidday, from Eritrea, was happily sharing a photograph of her beautiful little daughter, which drew lots of oohs and aaahs and smiles from the crowd.
Fourteen-year-old Meteseybia talked about the math award he had just won at his middle school where he has been studying since he arrived in January. He also talked passionately about drawing and how he had learned to fix computers. I was amazed at how his English had improved since I met him last and that he was not so shy anymore. Margaret & Jim Liebig talked with a young Ethiopian lad and found out how much he likes soccer and how he hopes to play at Catalina High next school year. It was good of him to interpret a little for his mother so she could converse with Margaret & Jim.
Several of the waiters kept coming out of the kitchen to talk to Adhanet in her language, Tigrinya. Sarah Griffiths, an Iskashitaa family mentor and ESL volunteer, had invited Adhanet's family to this event. As it turns out Adhanet works at Café Desta and the waiters were surprised to see her at the table eating instead of serving.
Look for information about our next Food for Thought dinner in the Iskashitaa Newsletter or on our Facebook page. We'll gather again on July 10th. Please RSVP to
Joy, Peace & Love,
Annlee Laughlin
Iskashitaa Intern

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