I'm home! Sunburned and footsore and happy. The Walk for a Nuclear Free Future was a good experience. I stepped out of my comfort zone. I made new friends and was able to reconnect with friends that I made during the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future in 2010. I even learned a few words in Japanese from the people who came to the United States from Japan to walk for a nuclear free future. During this course of this month, I will share stories from this five-day adventure through some of Western New York. I will now work on catching up with my blogging from A to Z.
Today's letter is K so, of course, I'll write about food. I know. Food begins with "f." But food comes from the kitchen, and kitchen starts with "k."
The walk was really a fantastic experience because of the walkers and because of the hospitality of so many people along the path.
There were about 35 walkers for the Western New York portion of the Walk for a Nuclear Free Future. We were visible with our banners and flags and with drumming and chanting. Our work was to walk and to share our hope for a nuclear free future with anyone who drove past us or walked past us or who saw us from a house or a field.
When we grew tired or hungry, people from the various communities we visited served us food and offered us shelter. When we arrived at the Hamburg United Methodist Church after walking from downtown Buffalo in a cold wind, we were welcomed and offered sliced apples and oranges. We were also treated to a meal of delicious Thai food. In Springville, we were offered lasagna. There were always plenty of rice and beans and vegetables available for us.
People who came to walk for just a few days also served doses of kindness from their kitchens. A few people from Ithaca came to walk with us for a few day. They brought wraps filled with hummus, brown rice, cheese, and something else (I think). They also brought tofu that had been baked. We had cheese in waxy balls and cheese wrapped in plastic and we had vegetables and fruits.
In the Seneca Nation's Cattaraugus territory, we were served traditional corn soup, fry bread, and corn bread, among other delicious items. Traditional corn soup is made with white corn and salt pork and kidney beans. It is a fairly slow process. The corn was tender and tasty. It was prepared by our friend, Al White, who spent two days cooking the soup.
In the course of five days and many courses of food, I learned that food is a gift to be shared. I also learned that food is part of culture. For example, in the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) culture, corn, beans, and squash are grown together, and they are called the three sisters. Growing these plants together is a sustainable method of agriculture that keeps both the soil and human beings well nourished and thriving.
So... the kindness from many hands in the kitchen (including our own, when we were able to help prepare and serve food) kept us strong and able to walk...
(more stories will follow about the walk)