Thursday, June 28, 2012

Makin' Shrooms

Banan is my host father. We is in his late 30s and is the oldest of several siblings. We have been to visit his family a few times since I have been here, and they are actually pretty well off. I think the father works in the government, along with two of Banan's brothers. They have travelled to several different countries as representatives. The two other brothers and one sister work in business. They all seem pretty wealthy and respectable. They are all firm Buddhists. (Banan and Mala often get the food they offer to their deities, because they would not eat it, but we can eat it).

There are interesting dynamics in the family, because the family obviously respects Banan as oldest son and they love his wife and kids, but it is hard for them to understand why he would give up on a job working in government or business, where he could make a lot of money to provide for his family, and would instead pay to go to Bible school, and become a pastor at a church that can barely support itself. They also have had groups of foreigners and even mission groups stay at their house, and could not understand why I wanted to stay at Mala and Banan's house. There is no animosity at this point, but it does provide me with a picture of how illogical Christianity seems in certain contexts.

Banan is quite the entrepeneur, and to enable his ministry to continue at a relatively poor church, he also dabbles in farming, making home-made detergent, and cultivating mushrooms. On Saturday he showed me some of the steps involved in this process. I didn't quite understand what was going on, but it was very interesting, and I thought of my brother, Tyler, because it seemed like some kind of scientific experiment he would attempt when we were kids. (We did this inside the church building to have enough space and equipment).

Pour some kind of grey sugar powder into boiling water

 Stir until it become thick

Pour into a pan to let it cool
Once it solidifies, cut it into thin strips

 Stuff the strips into glass bottles and plug them with cotton balls

The left over strips are good enough to gnaw on or feed to the dogs

Eventually the bottles should look like this...

This is the back of our house, where Banan keeps his mushroom farm. Apparently if you eat them every day, you won't get cancer. Maybe I am super nerdy and weird, but this process was so strangely fascinating to me :)

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