Saturday, March 3, 2012
Cookie Map Correction - Eritrea
I was informed in the comments under our cookie map of Africa, that I had missed making a cookie for Eritrea.
Actually, I'm sure I missed more than one country, the country borders in Africa seem to move and reshape every time I glance away, but I had some left over dough, so I figured we could at least rectify the lack of Eritrea on our map...
...with the help of a photo editor, anyway.
In reality, we enjoyed our plate of Eritrean shaped cookies later in the week, separately from the rest of Africa, along with a couple of very good picture books, set in that country.
The Mangrove Tree, Planting Trees to Feed Families, tells the true story of Dr. Gordon Sato's "Manzanar Mangrove Initiative", planting mangrove forests in dry, desolate areas of the world, like Eritrea, to alleviate poverty, and reduce global warming. The story is told in short verses above mixed media illustrations, with longer text boxes to the side. You can read more about the project detailed in the book, here.
Trouble by Jane Kurtz, who grew up in Ethiopia while Eritreans were fighting for independence, tells a fictional story of a young boy, and the gebeta board his father gives him to keep him out of trouble. The game (one of the many forms of the game also known as mancala) doesn't exactly do its job, but it does lead the boy on an interesting, and eventful journey around the countryside, and safely home again.
Mancala is one of the oldest board games in the world. What it's called, and how it's played varies from country to country across Africa and the Middle East.
Depending on the rules of play, some of which you can view here, it can be a simple count and capture game for children, or a challenging strategy game, akin to chess, for adults. Like many folk games, the board is simple, and can be reproduced at home, with holes dug in the dirt, carved into wood, or even made out of recycled egg cartons. However, we purchased ours, for less than six dollars, after friends introduced us to game, last summer. Naturally, we've been playing it with renewed interest, and hopefully keeping out of trouble too, this week.
It's great to be a homeschooler.