I’ve completed 2 full days of eating the same rations a Syrian refugee eats in a Jordan refugee camp. Here’s what I’ve learned so far.
1. I’m tired
I expected to be hungry, and I am, but not famine-level hunger.
What gets me most is a real lack of energy. The food that I’m eating is enough to keep me alive, but I’m light-headed and all I want to do is sleep.
There’s a whole lot of rice – which is filling – but very little protein. No fruit, a tiny amount of vegetables, no sugar and no caffeine or ‘superfoods’ to pick me up.
2. Making food takes effort
That may sound like a stupid statement, but there is very little in the ration kit that you can open and just eat.
The dried lentils have to be boiled for an hour. The dried chickpeas need to be soaked overnight and then boiled. Rice and flour need water and heat to make them edible.
3. Rice is really boring
Rice and butter chicken – ace. Rice with sweet and sour pork – mmmm. Rice with coconut milk -heaven.
Rice with a couple of teaspoons of chicken stock, 6 kidney beans and a few slivers of capsicum? Nup. Not so much.
4. Any food tastes really good when you’re hungry
By lunch time on Day 2 I didn’t care that it was just rice with a few beans and a bit of capsicum. I savoured each mouthful, chewed slowly and made sure I got every last grain in the bowl.
And that hot cup of black tea that I made to go with it? Out of the same teabag I’d already used for 2 cups of tea that day? Heavenly.
A photo posted by Rebecca Bowyer (@rebeccabowyerwriter) on
5. Those sardines are starting to look mighty appetising
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