Africa Day and the Joy of Cooking

Confession: I am running out of things to discuss so I have to be more creative…or actually do different things. Who has time for that though, right?! But here goes.

Recently, there was an Africa Day festival in Mannheim one week and then again in Heidelberg later. Now, I was curious to say the least. I don’t see many people that look like me in Heidelberg. I wanted to be around people that resemble my skin complexion. You may think that sounds ridiculous but spend some time in a country where no one looks like you and get back to me.

I went to the one in Mannheim by myself. It was difficult to find but I got to it and was confused. There were maybe five black people there. Vendors, performers, visitors, etc were all white. Let that sink in for a second. Africa Day was full of white people…interesting. I stayed for a bit but ended up leaving shortly after.

Then the one in Heidelberg came around. I was reluctant to go but I went with Nahia and Nao. There were black people everywhere! I’m talking maybe every black person in Heidelberg came out of the woodworks for this! I had a lot of fun just listening to music, enjoying the flurry of languages being spoken, being around strangers that felt familiar, and smelling fantastic food.

Speaking of food, remember a while back when I mentioned that most stores are closed on Sundays? Well, I started taking the time to try new cooking recipes. I love cooking a lot but I tend to make the same things over and over again. Furthermore, I don’t have a stove or a lot of appliances or funds to really go all out but I make do. I’ve made pizza and cake in crock pot. I learned how to make pasta sauces from scratch. I tried my hand at more ethnic types of food (Indian, Japanese, and Chinese foods). I even tried making vegetarian black bean burgers (these are fantastic)! It’s been nice to try new things and get outside of my comfort zone.

So, what have we learned today? Africa Day can be very Eurocentric depending on the location. Be willing to try new things, whether it’s simple or complex. Moving forward, I want to go hiking to show you an overview of the city and maybe some other things that I’ve learned over my time being here. If there is anything that you want to know more about leave a comment and I’ll address it in a post. Til then, peace!

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