Rachel has come home from Africa. She visited a few nights ago and brought a
“spice boat” as a gift. This is a coconut husk, cut into a section the shape of an orange peel (or a boat), loaded up with spices and tea, and wrapped in plastic. Spice boats make popular gifts because they pack well and are lightweight. They are also pungent and make great gifts for great cooks like my wife. Daughter Marya said, “Wow, that smells like Africa.” She had been over to visit Rachel in Ethiopia last summer while Rachel was in the Peace Corps. In fact, they celebrated their 8th-grade 10-year class reunion in Ethiopia, with 100% attendance! (This IS a small town.)
While this has nothing to do with spice, the layout of the boat reminded me of something else about Africa. Take a look at this map of “The True Size of Africa” with other countries superimposed inside it, like spice inside the boat. The United States fits comfortably in the northwest corner. Plenty of room left over for China, India, Europe and Japan.
We often don’t get a sense of Africa’s size on flat maps, because it’s at the equator and doesn’t get stretched out as the lands toward the poles do (Remember the Mercator maps with Greenland bigger than South America? And Alaska half as big as the rest of the USA? This may have contributed to Sarah Palin’s…uhh.. ambition and enthusiasm. But I’m really off the subject now).
Africa. Back to the subject. Welcome home, Rachel! We love you! And thanks for the spice!
True Size of Africa