I’ve hit a rough patch. Hell, we’ve hit a rough patch. Well, maybe not Wry-ly who seems beyond it all, but BushDiva and I have resorted to a kind of quiet desperation around food. I’d like to blame Wry-ly’s composure on the reality that she’ll be heading home in about three weeks – but the truth is that she is just that composed and even. A wry and delightful sense of humor but not easily ruffled that I can see.

At any rate, proof of our unraveling came on Sunday night when, gathered in the back of the house desperate for a breeze- excited that the power was on – and waiting for dinner, Wry-ly let us know that  Santa (aka the Patron Saint of Peace Corps Volunteers: a neighboring missionary) had bestowed another set of his semi-regular food gifts upon us. A bag of individually wrapped snickers, box macaroni and cheese, and …wait for it…wait for it…real live cupcakes.

BD was quick to unwrap hers – unable to wait for the completion of dinner. And mouth watering, tin foil  wrapping rustling, she offered to buy either of the remaining two. Wry-ly, volunteered and a deal was struck (BD’s share of the snickers for Wry-ly’s cupcake).

Meanwhile, I sat in the hard wicker chair happily munching contentedly on a snickers (something I rarely, if ever, eat at home) when, mid bite – I burst into laugher that erupted in tears. Not real tears. Not sadness. More tears of laugher at the absurdity of it To my left BD was excitedly licking the foil free of any remaining chocolate frosting (despite her usual disdain for chocolate)  and I was savoring the last crumbs of my candy.

It was just so…so…so…ridiculous.

Earlier this weekend we found ourselves all clustered around a coal pot stove watching Gutz fry French fries and plantains before we watched a Tyler Perry flick (don’t judge, I was out-voted…and it was a most pleasant evening!) . And on Friday I was finally privy to the breakfast fish lady – who for 70 LD (right now, a little over a dollar) you can get a heaping bowl full of rice with tomato gravy and a grilled fish.

Food is more my everything now than even back home.

Supposedly headed to Monrovia at some point this week, my dreams are filled with falafel and naan possibilities (Lebanese food abounds and there is a Bangladeshi spot reported to be good and cheap!). In some ways I know the anticipation of such things makes it worse…but I’m craving meat like I haven’t craved it in years.

No matter, tonight we actually aren’t having beans – instead, pasta. A welcome, non-flatulence inducing change of pace.

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3 Comments on patron saint

  1. Teresas says:

    Is it that the food available is mostly bland or lack of variety? I imagine that is difficult to adjust to, especially coming from San Fran where you have anything imaginable.

  2. Linnea says:

    a few things…i’m rather rural so there isn’t a lot of diversity. also, with limited electricity (our stove is electric) that means we can only cook at night or early early in the morning. we are trying to get a gas stove in the next few weeks…that should help. but even so…bean beans they’re good for your heart…there is only so much vegetable protein at my disposal and only so many variations of tomato paste, peanut butter and curry you make! its all good though…i won’t starve to death- Liberians don’t!

  3. Kyla says:

    I can’t believe you got cupcakes from the “patron saint”! That’s awesome. I’ll refrain from telling you what I’ve been eating lately:)

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