You’d think I’d have pulled it together by now. But I’m still in transition mode because everything is still pretty much in flux. A perfect example is today’s food intake: a piece of beef jerky, half a little baggy of plantain chips, and some water. At least that was the case for the first part of the day.

We were waiting for PC to show up for a myriad of meetings; to meet with the old volunteers about some concerns, to meet with our counterparts at Africare about our future work with them, and to meet with us all about safety and security. They dragged on longer than expected leading me to miss internet access (I was so close to posting a blog earlier today) and to become light-headedly aware of how hungry I was.

Once we wrapped up with PC – complete with a parting gift of Halloween chocolate and biltong (a South African delicacy of dried meat!!!)- still waiting for the power to return, BushDiva and I made the short trip to Starbucks and the Strip Mall.

Lest you think I’m living the high life out here in Bong county, let me explain. My community is nestled beside a road that runs between Monrovia and Ganta. On both sides folks sell food and taxi’s assemble to gather passengers. The previous volunteers dubbed one side Starbucks because in the morning a woman sells a hot drink concoction of tea, condensed milk, and chocolate tied in a plastic bag (that is on the menu for tomorrow). I dubbed the other side the strip mall as we’ve since learned that there are some handy things sold there – including popcorn.

But today’s true treasure discovery was fish. After grabbing some popcorn and other sundry items to snack on tomorrow I was distracted by the cutest baby sitting on a makeshift counter chewing steadily and looking quite content. He never smiled and he never stopped chewing but he would glance at me from time to time. All the chewing lead us, in our ravenous state, to ask what he was eating. As it turns out, it was grilled fish purchased at Starbucks.

Sure enough, a woman over a coal fire grill stood quietly turning whole fish on skewers, periodically poking the eye of the one we requested to see if it had stopped oozing – signifying, by our best guess – that it was done. Sure enough, a final poke and we were served piping hot fish with a side of pepper sauce and onions.

30LD (less than 50 cents)!

This could become a delicious habit. Of course the question becomes…where did the fish come from? We’re more than three hours from the ocean. But I have been assured that these are river fish and there are rivers somewhere around here – even if I haven’t spotted one yet. So for now I’ll be thankful for the animal protein and work that into my weekly daily diet.

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