so I am still very behind with my blog posts from Kenya! sorry about that.
Here is the video from day 13 – talking about what we are eating and how much things cost.
if you can’t view the video for some reason, you can see it here on You Tube
I actually wrote this blog post on the day I did this video, just didn’t ever publish it… so here it is now :)
Today is probably a good day to tell you a little more about what life is like here in terms of the everyday.
A good day because I have come down with the dreaded tummy bug, and I have been wracking my brain trying to think what I have eaten that could have given this to me!
Jacinta has really stressed from the very beginning about watching what we eat and drink and washing hands constantly. She is very very adamant about how important this is because she has had Malaria twice since April (bedridden for three weeks and then ten full days), she has had tape worm, Amoeba, as well as Salmonella!
She said malaria feels like you are literally going to die. She also reckons that the ‘Queen’ malaria mossie comes out between 11pm and 5am, so you can imagine my paranoia at waking up in the night having bites on my face and arms! Gah!
So anyway, back to food.
The thing about Kisumu is that you can buy food anywhere – from the woman selling chips on a stove on the side of the road, to the more organized markets to a proper supermarket.
You can pretty much buy anything you want in Kenya – it just will cost you if it is something more ‘western’.
So we buy fruit from the market – bananas, mangoes, pineapples., tomatoes, avocadoes, which are all relatively cheap. A pineapple is about 80 shillings, avocadoes 10 or 20 shillings, tomatoes four for 40 shillings, bananas, two for 15 or 20 shillings, mangoes about 35 shillings. Jacinta grows lettuce in the garden.
A lot of the fruit is imported from Uganda, which seems just crazy but that seems to be the norm here. They either don’t have the know how or the money to set themselves up or they don’t have the land. It is the same with eggs – imported from Uganda and then sold at wholesale to the women in the market who then sell to the public. These woman make a profit of one shilling per egg! Jacinta wants to be able sell the Suluhisho eggs to these market women at a cheaper price so they can make more money for themselves.
The Kenyan’s don’t really get the concept of salad, because their mindset is always that they aren’t sure where the next meal is coming from (this mindset remains even though they are now getting three meals a day). It is pretty impossible to buy a salad sandwich or to get salad with a meal even if you go out to the more westernized pubs or restaurants. So the meals are all generally filled with carbs and starch to fill their bellies (flour and rice are also the cheapest thing to eat).
When I first arrived I went to the supermarket and bought cereal and bread, and milk and coffee, so that is what I have been eating for breakfast at home. During the day, we have often been out and about, so I often will either forget to eat or we will buy a bunch of bananas (and eating one, then end up handing them out to everyone we come across). If I am at home I would have avocado and tomatoes on a biscuit like a salada, only because I feel like I need some fresh food!
The children have porridge for breakfast in the mornings and get rice and beans for lunch at school.
Dinner is made is huge cooking bowls to feed everyone. Jacinta doesn’t have an oven, so everything is cooked on a little coal cooker – you sit on a stool next the ground.
Dinner options are usually rice and potatoes mixed with oil and tomato and coriander with a chicken stock flavouring. Other options are chapatis and green grams – chapatis are these very very fattening flour based, pancake looking thick bread, which is made with layers and layers of oil and cooked. I haven’t had Ugali yet but it is another option as well.
Chicken and fish are seen as treats. Jacinta was telling me about how there is a real issue of protein deficiency and the link to children’s brain development. I can see how they could go for weeks or months without adequate fruit and vegetables or protein.
Malnutrition is so evident here, especially in the slums. The big swollen tummy is the most well know sign. I didn’t know it, but when you see children with tinges of red hair, that is also a sign of malnutrition.
It was only a month or so ago, Leta told me that David, who is 18, commented that he couldn’t believe how much his hair had grown and how it wasn’t red anymore. She also said that Anti got quite teary hearing him say that, it was only in September last year that Anti has been able to help to change these boys lives.
Pretty amazing hey?
And here are some of the kids having jam sandwiches and a warm cup of tea for lunch on a Saturday :)
Stay tuned for the next blog post which will be some images from the Masai Mara! if you are interested in attending the exhibition, please register your interest here, to make sure you are on the invite list.
have a great day,