Wash your hands before eating…

We have all heard that, especially in the Western World… This is how our parents have raised us, this is what we teach our children…
Now… think about 2 things:
– how often do you actually do it (… be honest with yourself…, no need to tell everyone ;-))
– do you really do it when water supply is limited…?

Compared to the western world, food in Africa is mainly eaten with your hand, no cutlery used in most cases. So in a way, hand washing is even more important.
But water is scarce in Africa. No running water at the tap in many places. Often the borehole is far, long walking distance to fetch water for the day, heavy jerrycans to be carried back. Because every drop counts, the perception is often that washing hands is not a priority and therefore not done.

On the contrary! Washing hands before eating is critical and done systematically almost everywhere! More so than we do…
Water is not running, but there is always a pot and a bucket so that you can wash your hands… Before and after eating… When eating out, someone comes to your table… And you dont use a dirty cloth to dry your hand: you litterally let it dry without touching anything else…

What was your perception/idea of hands washing in Africa….?

Having said that, because eating with your hand, the taste of soap can be setting you off… and so sometimes, you do not use soap… things to ponder…

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Side comment: as a westerner, learning to eat with your hand without messing up is quite an interesting one… Sometimes I feel like a child… But manage most dishes now even if not as elegantly as locals….

 

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