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Jen lives in the Capital City of Kampala, Uganda, one of the most populous regions in Eastern Africa.  She lives in a home with her husband, her seven children, and her two adopted nephews from her brother who passed away several years ago.  She lives in a small cement home in the outskirts of the city, that her husband built himself.  Although Jen’s home is small and humble, it is unique in Uganda because it has a tap with running water outside and a few electrical lights hung along the ceiling.

Jen enjoys her children and spends most of the day helping them with their activities at home and school.  Only Jen’s oldest children attend school (which is common in Africa), as school fees are expensive.  Jen spends the rest of her time in the small area outside her home, using her three charcoal stoves to prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner for her family.  Preparing meals takes the majority of Jen’s day, as she has no refrigeration and must go the market everyday to purchase enough ingredients to feed her large family.  Often finances prevent her from purchasing a variety nutritious fruits, vegetables, and protein sources, on these days she usually prepares potatoes and sweet potato leaves.

In Jen’s home, breakfast consists of chapati (a special type of African pita bread) and tea.  If lunch is served it usually consists of dishes such as matoke (mashed plantain), rice, potatoes, beans, cooked sweet potato leaves, and maybe a curried vegetable or meat.  When dinnertime arrives everyone is excited.  Dinner is the most important meal of the day in Jen’s home because it is the time when everyone comes together to eat, laugh, and converse.  Jen’s favorite dish to prepare for dinner is called Rolex, a curried egg and vegetable dish served inside a chapatti (African Pita Bread).