Some interesting experiments today. I think I’m really starting to get the hang of this.
Breakfast: budget instant coffee and a rather odd sort of rice pudding made from cooked budget white rice, water, one date and very small amounts of sugar, milk, cardamom and semolina. It was a followup to yesterday’s experiment, but considerably tastier.
Morning tea: chapati and budget instant coffee
Lunch: dal and rice, lemon balm tea
Afternoon tea: chapati
Dinner: fried goodness with tomato sauce. I tried to make fritters, but with little flour and nothing like eggs to bind, it was quite a challenge. I ended up with a mix of cooked rice, finely chopped silverbeet, a couple of spoons of the dal I cooked yesterday, a bit of chili powder and a couple of spoons of semolina mixed with hot water. I then dropped spoonfuls onto a pan that had quite a bit of oil in it. They didn’t really stay together, but the mix browned up nicely and with a bit of salt it was lovely. The tomato sauce was made from the last of my tinned tomatoes and a few herbs from the garden.
I’m quite full now. There was probably quite a bit of fat in that dinner.
Now that I’m feeling full and slightly smug for being able to prepare meals below the line that I actually enjoy, it’s time to remember what $2.25 really signifies. It’s not the New Zealand dollar daily food budget of those living in extreme poverty. It’s the $NZ total daily budget of those living in extreme poverty. Food, cooking fuel, housing, clothing – and anything beyond that like education and medical care is probably unimaginable luxury. And it’s not the daily cash budget of those living in extreme poverty. It accounts for the cost of scavenged items like firewood, free food etc.
It’s a poverty that I know I can’t possibly comprehend. What has felt like hardship to me resembles in no way the hardship of those living in extreme poverty. All I can hope to do by living on $2.25 of food a day is remind myself and others that these people exist, and encourage you all to support the charities that are working to end extreme poverty. I’m not sure I’m doing the best job of that. I’m pretty sure the idea is to make people feel sorry enough for me to to donate money. And here I am rambling on about the random delicious meals I’ve managed to make. I’m not going to win any sympathy donations with today’s culinary delights.
But that all changes tomorrow. It’s my birthday, and I’m still below the line. So go on. Feel sorry for me, and help support the great work of Volunteer Services Abroad.