The Privilege of Thinking About Food, But Never Worrying

by | Nov 2, 2018

Food. I always think about food when out here. On each of the 30 trips I’ve taken to this region, I have lost between 10 and 19 pounds. I eat less than half the calories I normally eat. I regain most of the weight when I go back home to my big meals. What a privilege to never have to worry about food. I chose to limit my intake here, in part because I bring what I eat, but more than that because limiting myself for these relatively short periods of time has a way of re-centering me.

I just got back from refugee camp Djabal. I had a long conversation with our friend Achta. She tells me that all she thinks about is her children and offering them a better future. Achta says that the monthly rations they receive will last, at the most, 14 days. There are very few jobs for refugees in this area. If a woman is lucky to find a backbreaking construction job, it pays less than $2 US for a full day of work. Mothers have had to go far away to find pieces of land where they can plant small crops. They usually need to take their children with them. This keeps some of the kids out of school for up to half of the school year. The rainy season is unpredictable. Sometimes it does not rain enough to produce good crops. Sometimes it rains too much and areas get flooded and spoil the crops—as it happened to Achta this season. Food is expensive here, as you would imagine given the extreme conditions.

For dinner tonight I’m going to have some tuna, crackers, and dry fruit. Oh, and some gum for dessert. I’ve only been here a few days, and I’m already thinking of the first meal I’ll have when back home—more than likely some good fish tacos. I will try to keep some of the weight off if I can, but I won’t have to worry about having to make the choice between food and education for my kids.

Peace,
Gabriel

Share this...
Share on Facebook
Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Twitter

360,000

refugees from Darfur, Sudan, living in refugee camps located in Chad.

Volunteer

Support iACT with your time and skills. Help us change the way the world reacts to humanitarian crises.

10,000

current capacity at the RUSA academies

RELATED NEWS

How We Work With Refugees

I was going to come out once, visit refugees, and help—even if in a tiny way—to tell their stories. We wanted to put a face on the numbers of dead, displaced, and surviving people of Darfur. We wanted to make it personal. I’m at the end of our 30th trip to these...

read more