Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Shaka Zululand, South Africa

The Photograph

The Story

Just north of Durban, in the KwaZulu - Natal Province of South Africa, a girl kneels at a grinding stone. Corn meal in one hand, the other shooing at a chicken looking for scraps, she grinds in service of the chief. This is the first step in making the mash to ferment the Zulu beer she will serve the village guests as a welcome sip from a round wooden dipper passed first to the men, then to the women. Sharp and pungent, unfiltered and thick, most American palates dislike the first taste of her unrefined offering, but I could see how it would grow on me. These are the things that take us outside our comfortable, known lives and step by small step into experiencing someone else's comfortable and known life.

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