It is exactly 199 steps from my front door to the gate of the Osteria Ice Cream Shop.
Last week my friend Heidi and I were discussing transition and she described my current state as “un-grounded.” Yes, that was exactly the right word. Eight weeks into life in Kenya I am still finding my footing (which surprizes me because I moved to Kenya for the first time in 1992). But, this time we returned without any children and there are more holes in my everyday life to fill in before the ground is steady.
I firmly believe in looking at the spiritual angle on life issues, and there are spiritual elements in transition. I have received comfort, truth and wonderful gifts from God in this adjustment process. But, as my daughter Emily frequently reminds me, “we are, first of all, human.” As one particular human, I like habit and structure and I know that establishing habits and structure will help fill in some holes. Therefore, today as I walked home from work, I impulsively decided on an informal research project.
Each week I plan to stop one time at the homemade Italian ice cream shop (which, as you remember, is a mere 199 steps from my front door) and one by one, taste and test their twelve flavors. The names are written in Italian, and though mint chocolate chip and strawberry are obvious, I will need translations for the others. Because this is a research project, I methodically started with the tub to the far left of the case- vanilla and rum with chocolate shavings. Good, but not amazing. I gave it a 7 out of 10, the first data in reaching the goal of this research project- naming my favorite flavor.
I think it’s a good and worthy project in a few ways. I am supporting a local industry, it doesn’t take a lot of time, the servings are small, and it creates a predictable happy moment I will happily anticipate.
And as my father’s daughter, any excuse for eating ice cream will suffice.