Saturday, July 10, 2010

The Payless Produce Dept has nothing on me

Recently, I’ve been working on consulting for an NGO. It has been so much fun. It has also meant that I have received a lot of food. Unfortunately, all my partners have decided this week I need to eat more. And have been feeding me. A lot. Here is the meal count for the past week.

1) One lunch at NEGOWA Vocational Training Institute. We were served a chunk of posho (a dish made from corn; think cream of wheat but with less flavor and more dense) that was larger than my head. Melissa was luckily with me and we managed to eat most of it. In addition to that they gave us delicious egg plant and greens. I don’t like the greens. Neither does Melissa. I got away initially with seconds by lying and saying, “my Mother wouldn’t let me have seconds until I cleared my plate,” and then eating slowly, slowly. So Melissa got most of the seconds, then stopped the cook, pointed to my plate, and said, “oh she would like more too.” We haven’t spoken sense.
2) We ran like our team on chapatti night out of there. Only to be called back in for “something special.” Have you ever heard of jackfruit? It’s huge. People have to be careful when they are in season because if they fall on your head, you die. No laughing matter. It is massive and looks like a giant green brain. The fruit is actually pretty tasty, but I could barely eat it I was so full and there was a lot of it.
3) Just when we thought we were really done… the catering class finished their chapatti lessons. Guess who was given the chapatti to eat? And the roasted ears of corn? Luckily, we ate the corn incorrectly which caused the three old women at the school to laugh and mock us for about twenty minutes. Which gave us more time to digest the other food and force down the corn.
4) We were then loaded down with two po-pos? I honestly don’t know if that was the name of the fruit. Two more roasted ears of corn, two unroasted, and the remaining chapatti which we begged them to pack for us. We gave a lot of the food to people on the taxi home. See my entry on taxis next. I made Melissa carry my backpack because it was so heavy. When she opened it and saw that I had brought four books she was rather upset though. I personally think The Two Koreas the most comprehensive modern history of the Korean peninsula is necessary for any consulting trip.
5) I help teach a new business class. I was dumb and ate breakfast before going to the class. I was then given the most massive banana I have ever seen in my life. It took two bites to eat the while circumference of it. I was then given the entire bunch of bananas; this easily ways more than my cat Precious. They were delicious though.
6) I went to another consulting meeting. Again I was stupid and ate breakfast. I was given posho in porridge form. A couple chapattis and several sweet bananas. Sweet bananas are tiny. That does not mean trying to eat four is easy though. I was sent home with several.
7) I forgot to mention that Angie (our country director) and I were gifted a rooster a few weeks ago. She was recently killed and eaten. She was a rooster and woke everyone up very early. Like 4 am early. Even the most vehement vegetarians offered to slaughter her.
8) Today I was fed breakfast at class before I was permitted to attend. Breakfast=probably 5 eggs and tomatoes. And bread. And two sodas. I was only able to finish the sprite, don’t worry they let me take the krest home with me.

In summary, I will soon be the size of a sumo wrestler and the team has come to expect food on my arrival. It is now no longer surprising to greet me at the gate and be handed several bananas, chickens, or po-po. I still don’t think that’s actually the name of it. This has been excellent training for the mission. I’m comforted by the fact that Korea isn’t capable of growing as much produce as Uganda-so the odds of them unloading it all on me are slim.


  1. Ok, I think I missed what chapatti is. I can't imagine you eating so much. I wonder what interesting things you will get to eat in Korea.

  2. i just found the blog of brooke ellis. today is the first day of the rest of my life.

  3. If this diet continues, your poops will resemble the poops of a bear. A vegan bear, as that diet seemed to have a lot of fruits, veggies, and grains.