Rice & Beans & Zoom

Our family has participated in Rice & Beans Month in some form or fashion every year since it began in 2010. Our kids have grown up with the tradition and we really enjoy sharing it with others! We have friends all over the place who have joined in at various points along the way, so now it’s wonderful to know we are eating in solidarity with the kids we sponsor in Tanzania, and also with friends and family in other cities and states! And since we’re all so familiar with Zoom, we decided to try a Zoom Rice & Beans dinner. We made the same meal at both houses, and there were lots of empty plates by the end, so if you’re looking for a kid-friendly meal option, try Indonesian Curried Bean Stew over rice!

Keith and I have been close friends with the Beattys since before any kids came along, and now there are 8 kids ranging in age from 6 to 17 between our two families. The kids all love each other dearly, so once we got past the initial awkwardness of sharing a virtual dinner, it was fun to “go around the table” and give all the kids a chance to share highlights and updates. There were even some violin solos and basketball moves in the mix once dinner plates were empty.

The Beatty family has many close ties to East Africa and has been hoping for years that it would work for them to make a trip. During our Zoom dinner, they updated us with the news that their tickets are purchased for summer 2022, and we could not be more excited for them! They’re still figuring out details for how they will spend their time in Kenya, so our kids had a few tips and recommendations to share from our 2018 trip.

Eating rice and beans over Zoom would not be our two families’ first choice for how to spend time together. Still, it was a fun addition to a long history of participating in Rice & Beans Month together, which is part of an even longer history of growing our families together. Sharing milestones, sharing adventures, sharing a deep connection to East Africa, and sharing life. It all makes a difference in connecting our hearts across Oregon and around the world!