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About Food

We bring with us most of what we'll be eating. Photo: Gabriel Stuaring/i-ACT

We bring with us most of what we’ll be eating. Photo: Gabriel Stuaring/i-ACT

Food. I will be thinking about it more and more, as this one-month trip moves along. We bring with us most of what we’ll be eating.

Packaged meals have gotten considerably better since I started coming out in 2005. I still bring big quantities of granola bars and nuts, but now I have more than tuna as my one “large” meal of the day. I bring boxes (yep, boxes) of ready to eat lentils, chicken-tortilla soup, and pastas. I end up eating between one-half and a third of the calories I eat in the U.S., but it’s enough to stay healthy and with energy (I eat too much in the U.S.).

In about a week, I’ll start dreaming of food back home: turkey burgers, fish tacos, guacamole, pizza, lasagna, and the list can go on and on. Connected with food, I’ll also be missing the long meal-times spent with family, bantering about politics, sports, and the world with my brother, sisters and all the kids. We accompany our meals with a lot of laughing—and some beer, wine, and the always present diet soda.

I am also starting to think about food because I just read a report about how refugees in the camps we’re about to visit are experiencing the effects of drastic cuts on their food rations. The refugee situation in Chad is being over-stretched and stressed by multiple crises, at a time when the attention of the world is in other emergency situations. The cuts in food is sure to cause irreversible damage to the health of already undernourished children. It won’t be easy for the adults either, but to the children’s health it can be catastrophic.

My breakfast today was a small bag of almonds. We are still in the capital, so we can have one meal at the hotel per day. It’s too expensive to eat every meal at the restaurant, but my granola bars and nuts are good. What’s nice for me is that I do get to dream about food, knowing that those dreams will come true soon enough. For the refugees, I’m not sure if they can even afford to dream.


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