The first impression that I had of Somali culture as represented by UWEAST was that it thet are an extremely hospitable people. That is something that continued throughout each and every one of my visits. I had always been offered food at some point during my visits, for instance. On this particular day, May 14, 2018 I was invited in to the kitchen. Cooking with UWEAST was a great experience, as food is one of the staples of culture, and learning to cook an East African dish was special.

But I took particular note of how the women cooking in the kitchen, and the aroma that exuded while the children arrived from school somehow, magically, transformed the building on Fairmount avenue from a center to a home. One kid who would later eat with us, first went off into some personal space of his own to pray. After asking permission, I was able to take the featured picture. Everything about the center that day felt like I was in someone’s home.