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Posts Tagged ‘Uganda’

Open Air Meat Market

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

meat market smaller

My husband, our only daughter, our 13 year old son, and I just returned from a mission trip in Uganda. We had an amazing time together serving the community, the missionaries, the church, and the Lord.

If you have ever traveled to Africa, you know about sensory overload. There are so many sights to take in and so many things that you don’t normally see that your mind swirls trying to process everything. As we passed through a bustling town filled with customers and vendors, we pulled over to purchase drinks for the remainder of our drive.

I looked to my left and there was an open air meat market. Beef was hanging from hooks while butchers were cutting off hunks of beef for waiting customers. It was fresh beef. The hooves and head were laying on the ground. On a table were the organs and other miscellaneous pieces. One vendor was weighing out organ meat to sell.

Beef is expensive in Uganda. At restaurants, beef costs a lot, chicken is more, and pork costs the most. So it is quite the opposite from the United States. In a culture where villagers live off of a diet high in starch, most of their protein comes from beans and peanuts, which they call ground nuts or g-nuts.

When we were served beef on occasion at a villagers home, it was usually beef bone broth. I knew how healthy the bone broth is as well as how uncommon it is to have beef on a daily basis in Uganda. They were putting out their best for us.

Inevitably when you return from a third world country, you cannot help being humbled by how blessed we are as a family and a nation. I wanted to show you this photograph and describe the open air meat market because I thought it would interest you as grass fed customers and/or fans of ranch living.

There is a movement to go back to how things were done in the past. Slow food movements, lacto-fermented foods, and traditional sourdough breads are among the trends of my health-conscious generation. I have a feeling that many of you would feel uncomfortable purchasing your beef in this fashion. Please let me know if I am wrong by leaving a comment.

Back in the USA

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Ankole on the way to market.

Ankole on the way to market.

For those of you that did not know, my daughter and I just arrived back from a mission trip to Uganda. We served in several different capacities while abroad. One of the most important reasons that I went was to teach women at the 2012 National Women’s Conference in Kampala.

One of my tools for connecting with women was to show them photographs of my life in Texas. I selected close to 60 photographs of scenes from our life at Cross Creek Cattle Company. Some of the photographs were scenes of my children climbing trees, riding horses, and caring for their many farm animals.

Texans have a reputation for being cowboys, riding horses, etc. Grown adults from other states have asked me if we ride horses everywhere instead of using modern means of transportation. I am used to the stereotype. I also knew that Uganda did not have a reputation of ranching like Texas or like several countries in South America, but what I found surprised me.

Some Ugandans do raise beef. Their choice of cattle are the Ankole, which have extremely long horns that grow up instead of out like the Texas Longhorns. This is the only breed that I saw on my almost two week stay. I got a kick out of passing cattle trucks on the road to Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. I wish I had a better photograph, but it was a challenge to capture the moment as we passed each other at a high rate of speed.

The “cowboys” ride on top of the truck. As the trucks slow down, children and even grown men run up to the truck to get a close up look at the spectacle. Quite a different reaction than back at home. It is common everyday to see many trailers full of cattle on the road.

Despite the fact that most of the women I met lead agrarian lives in rural settings, living the life of a rancher was an oddity. Unlike in Texas, most families in Uganda eat vegetarian meals because meat is so expensive. Raising cattle on ranches is not common practice. In fact as I taught my seminar, I found that there was no word in their language for ranch. So we had to use farm instead.

While I was at the conference, I did get served a bit of beef at two different meals. It was tender and delicious, but I sensed it was a privilege.

Despite our cultural differences, I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel to Uganda to fulfill very specific needs. I enjoyed my time in such a beautiful country; it is called the “Pearl of Africa” for a reason. However, I am very happy to be back home. Home is where your heart is, and for this country girl, home is Texas with my family.

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