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A letter from Larry Moir in Ethiopia

October 5, 2010

An Ethiopian Journal

A Fly in My Farso ... Yum! Protein!

After a few swallows of my farso, I noticed the fly. It was doing the butterfly stroke in my glass. I tried to be discreet. Holding my glass below table level, I inserted my little finger ... it was a small glass ... in an attempt to scoop it out. Ooops! Either the fly saw my finger coming, took a deep breath and swam to the bottom of the glass, or, more likely, within the confined space, I poked it and did it in. Humming Brahms’ Requiem, I placed the glass on the table as if nothing happened and struck up a conversation with the 5-year-old boy who was peering over my left shoulder. He had a big grin on his face. Maybe he was hoping I would share my farso with him. Yum! Protein!

Farso is served at wedding feasts, as in the aforementioned episode. It is also served at most other celebrations. It is the adult drink served before coffee at children’s birthday parties. The very first time I saw it served, our host passed me by saying it was too strong a drink for a “ferengi,” or foreigner, to drink. From later experience I concluded that if that were so, Barbara’s tee totaling grandmother, Lillian Marsh, would have loved it. It is no more potent than a cup of ersatz coffee.

Farso is made from roasted barley that is soaked overnight, or for a few days, in a fruit drink, then strained and served at room temperature. If you see someone buying a few packets of crystallized fruit drink mix they may be a redneck, but most likely she is preparing to make farso. Orange and cherry seem to be the favorite.

And as for the fly in your farso? It is an unexpected added benefit. Yum! Protein!

Larry Moir

The 2010 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 50

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