When we were driving over to our house every day to work on it and clean it (but not stay there), apparently, our neighbors came three times trying to bring us food in the evenings.
When we finally did have a night in the home, they were quick to deliver some food the next day.
Chickpeas in the lower dish, and chickpeas with chicken (similar tasting to chicken and dumplings) in the top dish, with naan on the side.
The ladies who are helping me with culture told me that since I'm new, I could just wash and return the tray and dishes to them empty, but normally, I'm supposed to fill the dishes before I send them back.
Well, I didn't have time to think about it, because the next day, this arrived.
Lovely AND tasty.
Now, I had two trays of dishes from one house to return, and I was still at a point where we were buying sandwiches off the street every day for lunch and just "squeaking by" for dinner at night.
So the dishes sat.
And I looked at them every day.
I walked to an American lady's house and asked her to tell me all the different kinds of things she had returned in the bowls before, and I would write them down and keep the list for ideas.
The problem is that they don't like a lot of our food, so the list was limited.
However, this last Sunday night, I made a large pot of taco soup (with homemade Ro-tel), and since they like tomato-base food, I thought I'd give it a try. Bowl #1
I also had some seasoned potatoes that I had cooked in the oven that were delicious, so that was dish #2.
I had also gone to the local grocery store to buy walnuts and hard candy for them because I heard they liked that. Two more bowls down. Two more to go.
I decided to put taco soup in one more bowl, and then I filled the last one with two apples.
It had been 5 days.
Kylie, Keira, and I walked over to their gate around 7:00pm. I was excited.
I was going to meet the neighbors AND remove the bowls from my counter.
I handed them the trays, and they didn't even look at my presentation! Instead, they invited us in!
(Maybe I should have done this when they brought food, but my American friends hadn't said to???)
We sat and had chai (tea), and I told them the 21 words I had learned that day in language. Knowing people (man, woman, girl, boy, etc), I figured out she had 3 daughters and 3 sons. Two sons are married. One of her daughters-in-law was there with us. One of her twin daughters, who is 18, knew a little English, and she helped me forge through a conversation, but I was impressed we could communicate at all with so little language.
After 45 minutes, there was a knock on her gate. I heard Doug's voice. He was checking on me.
I had left to deliver food and never come home.
I was so glad he had come. I had been trying to leave, but more stuff kept being brought to us.
Don't get me wrong! I was THRILLED to be in her home, but I knew Doug didn't know where I was and I didn't have my phone, plus Keira was getting tired.
We left, and guess what?
The next day she brought another whole tray of food!