What we eat

What we eat

What Amy starts with

What Amy starts with

What Amy makes

What Amy makes

My friend Eric took a similar picture from his shelf in Honduras. I loved it! So here is mine. From left to right: a can of mixed berry jelly, milk in the blue and white UHT carton—no refrigeration necessary, even after opened, totally yum avocado (about $0.40), delicious and sweet pineapple (had it on our pizza tonight) same price as avocado, “fair trade” yogurt—flavor: candy floss strawberry—I am totally afraid to ask, behind the yogurt below the coca-cola (yep—for emergency tummy upsets), is our sustaining tomato paste—not sure why, I guess the basis for many comfort foods, next in the back that looks like a bottle of water is actually a plastic (wtf) bottle of roasted and lightly salted peanuts(!), next to that is the Maxmart brand ground nut paste (peanut butter), and in front a tin of Garbanzo Beans at nearly $2 per can.

I made a list of what we’ve been eating—what one can cook in Ghana. Our veggies include: carrots, cabbage, potatoes (imported), cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, cauliflower, spring onions, garlic, fresh basil (!!!), pathetic cilantro, mint, red onions, sad ginger, string beans, avocado (yeh, yea a fruit whatever) and beets. (Ghanaian yams, to make fu-fu, but they don’t count for us westerners, oh yeah, winter squash) (sounds healthy and a lot—AND can get really boring—you find fresh corn on the streets grilled, but I have never seen it raw) Fruits include: bananas, plantain, passion fruit, guava at some season, pineapples, papaya, (mangos all done), lemons, limes, really yucky, dry, tasteless oranges and grapefruits, scary grapes (very expensive and imported and soaked in scary water), scary apples—good for applesauce (yellow delicious) but sold in bags where they have been soaking in water.

Rice (all imported from Thailand—the road stands advertise “local brown rice” I need to investigate), noodles (imported from Italy—no matter where you shop), tomato paste, pigeon beans (small kidney beans), flour, salt, sugar, olive oil (imported from Italy or Turkey), vegetable oil (I use corn to insure no palm oil), chicken broth cubes, rolled oats granola, raisins with veggie oil, ground nut paste,  and lots of sweet bread and pitas, and an occasional can of garbanzo beans. (I have a can of Starkist Tuna in water—but Hellman’s mayo costs about $8 for a small jar and the local stuff is sooooooo full of chemicals I can’t bear to buy it. ) I am thinking of having Noeline make “tuna noodle stinkle” but what if it tastes disgusting and we’ve wasted all that cream, milk, butter and tuna? I found dry coconut milk powder—doesn’t have anything I can’t pronounce in it, so I’ll try it. I found coconut milk–$3 per can.

So what have we been eating? Beans and rice on pita, dhal on pita, salad, potato pancakes, spaghetti, pesto pasta, beans and rice, chicken soup, beans and rice on pita, pizza, beans and rice on pita, veggies and rice, grilled cheese, beans and rice on pita, peanut butter and jelly on sweet bread or pita, beer, juice, zucchini bread with chocolate chips (chopped chocolate bars). I am sure I missing something—EGGPLANT! But that doesn’t help feed the kids at all.

Potato chips, tortilla chips, and pretzels are non-existent or REALLY expensive. I did find pop corn and we’ve all been enjoying it with the small amounts of brewer’s yeast I’ve been doling out. (The local chocolate tastes like chalk—the Cadbury’s is delish—even though my favorite chocolate in the world—Divine brand comes from Ghana!). We just scored some $2.50 Italian expresso coffee from the middle east somewhere. I found half and half once—now I am using full fresh cream, about $1.50 per two ounces. No Mimi’s ice cream—we must be making up at least half our lost $30,000 right there!

Allegra is loving the swim team and she is good at it too. She is keeping up with all of the junior varsity team—except maybe kicking—but she still does the entire workout! Sarah is doing well in Volleyball. She says she there is more “structure.” You’ll have to ask her. Jeff has started playing soccer on Sundays. It took him at least a hour to cool down in the pool afterwards last weekend! He is also playing bass in the school teacher’s band on Fridays after school. Sarah is being cajoled into playing the guitar in the first student “coffee house.” We are all signed up for Int’l beach clean up on September 19. Cool—we won’t be missing that event.

My seventh graders are writing diary entries as one of the Hindu deities and will act out one of the “eight-fold path” elements with stick puppets. The 11th graders are learning about “percent increase and decrease” with a stock market simulation—they get 1,000 shares of any 5 stocks. The one who makes the biggest percentage increase wins—not who makes the most money! The 9th graders start constructions in Geometry—thank goodness. Allegra loves science best and thinks she’s best at Chorus. Sarah’s favorite class is PE and thinks she is the best at PE. Jeff’s favorite thing at school is he’ll get back to me on that, and he is best at making things change, My favorite class to prepare for is 11th grade because it is the least demanding curriculum, my most challenging class is the 7th grade because I am nervous I will bore them (so far, I think I’ve been better than middle of the road), and the 9th grade is fun because the kids are really sharp and want to be in the class. Coaching has been a blast—though the “boys” all 4 Ghanaians—have a hard time staying on the same page. It is a little bit like a “who’s on first” skit. They act tough, but are really, really caring and sweet.

My favorite thing I’ve done so far is rip down a piece of batik fabric and make it into yarn. You can see the result in the picture—I didn’t take a picture of the ball of yarn—it was the size of regular ball of string and I used about 2/3 ‘s of it.  The entire process took me about two hours.

I don’t want to “hang up” and say good-bye, but then maybe you’ll stop reading the posts if they are all this long. Xo Amy

A T.M.I PS: I found a great cure to move things along: lime and salt in hot water!

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