Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cheese Me

It's been two days since we got back from The Gambia so, it's been two days since I was able to eat whatever I want whenever I want and not have to think about it. Just for the record, we did not eat local food one time while in The Gambia (if you don't count chicken sandwiches which are delicious and the only thing available at ferry crossings).Food is starting to become a real issue since even the smell of ceebu jenn is currently provokes my gag reflex. The past two days have also been bad meal days, culminating in today's lunch: Yassa. Yassa and I have never liked each other.

Now, I'm never the girl who doesn't like to eat something because it's unhealthy. I actually get angry when Matt buys ice cream that isn't full fat, but Yassa pushes me over the edge. It has no nutritional value and it's just not good. Yassa is white rice covered in onion sauce with some fried fish on top that have been sitting in the onion mixture so have by this point lost any fried delicious they may have once had. The vast majority of PCVs like Yassa. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it. White rice - fine. Onion sauce - well, we haven't been getting along for a while, but it's better than other things. Fried fish - fine. But that's it. There's nothing else. And I can no longer bring myself to eat it. Today lunch was really late so I was sitting in the living room, waiting, and reading a magazine. My heart dropped when I saw the Yassa. I sat down at the bowl, picked up my spoon, and put the spoon into the rice to take a scoop, but I just couldn't do it.

There was no place to hide so while my spoon was full of rice and hovering above the bowl I made the decision that I am indeed a big girl. I put down the spoon, announced that I wasn't hungry, and then ran away as my mom and Awa shouted after me that I don't like Yassa. You are one hundred percent correct my friends; I do not like Yassa. Fortunately, my family can see that I'm not the incredibly shrinking woman and that I do find food when I don't eat what they're having so their persistence that I eat is diminishing. After my triumph over Yassa, the only place to go was up so I went to Bon Marche bought a giant block of cheese and an apple and gorged myself on these delicious snacks in my room. Having control over my diet is without a doubt one of the hardest aspects of Peace Corps for me and I'm so excited to go back to the States and eat whatever I want.

Before I could go to Bon Marche and acquire dairy products and fruit, I had to go see Mme. Ly. The woman is a saint. I just love her to death and she and Khady always make me feel better. They were their usual, chipper selves and we had a good talk about the St. Louis Jazz Fest and some other upcoming events. Madame Ly also let me know that she and Khady are almost done with a big order they just received last week. They really know how to work hard and they even had some new styles to show me today!

Even with a giant block of cheese resting comfortably in my stomach I'm still hungry so let's hope for something good for dinner!


  1. I love that you make such an herculean effort to share meals with your family and I know it has enhanced your relationship with them. OK I get it. At this point it is completely acceptable to cook up some pasta and veggies and sit down with them to eat together. They will not mind. In fact, they will laugh at your pathetic food and be happy for their own larger portions. Free yourself!

  2. Alyssa,

    Is it cruel to ask if you would even eat at my favorite restaurant?, and no it is not the Club. Hang in there, the finish line is coming, the food will be changing and there will be something else that will begin to bother you... the definition of life.