23 October 08 Three Squares

Breakfast 7:00 am

Gari and Yazik with fried ingredients.

The gari and yazik are prepared with water and oil but not cooked. You mix them with the liquids until they are damp and will clump together easily when pinched. As an American I try to do this mixing with a fork but always end up using my fingers to get the right consistancy. The meal is eaten with my fingers. Tea and water to drink with my malaria and depression meds.  I eat in my living room facing the door trying to get some of the morning breeze.  The BBC Network Africa was on the radio this morning.
Gari is dried casava. Yazik is powdered ground nuts. The fried ingredients are tomatoes, green peppers, onions and garlic.  Ingredients are everything we call     vegetables. Vegetables in Ghana are leaves. Breakfast is usually a big meal because it is cool and I feel like cooking.
As I was preparing my breakfast I also took out some dried sardines and put them in a bowl for Shadow the cat. As I came into the livingroom with my breakfast she was meowing at the door. So I let her in and she came to the place where her bowl usually is.  I got her bowl for her. She munched a few sardines and started meowing. She kept coming to my table and meowing so I thought  I would give her some gari. (When I don’t have fish I give her gari). She ate the pinch of gari down greedily. So I shared a few more pinches. Then I gave in and made a little for her. This cat is truely Ghanaian if she wants gari more than she wants fish! But she did eat some fish after she had her gari.
On slow mornings, like today, I find something to do while I finish my tea and listen to the radio. Today I decided to blog. After breakfast I clean the floor where the cat ate and I wash dishes. I almost always do dishes after each meal for fear of bugs. I clean the floor for the same reason. After breakfast today I will mark tests.

Lunch 12:30 pm

Two tomato sandwiches, ½ a tomato and a cup of homemade limeade.

I have learned to eat a light lunch. One day at noon I ate a heavy meal, gari, sardines, tomatos and onions, then walked to class at 12:30. My body rebelled. It said “What are you doing to me I am already working overtime trying to cool you down when you crazily go out at this time of day and now I have to digest food as well.” Luckily my food was not rejected but just given a very hard time going through my system. I was sure glad class was over that day!  So now light lunches.

Today I also read a book Outerbridge Reach by Robert Stone a pure mindless thriller. Just what I need with 212 tests to correct and 220 photos to edit! Then I had a nap. My favorite after lunch activity.

Dinner 6;15 pm

Bean leaf soup.

Yesterday at market I bought bean leaves. I have forgotten the local name but they look pretty much like all the other ‘vegetables’ I have eaten here. I cut them and waashed them yesterday because they wither quickly without refridgeration. Then I cooked them with onion, garlic, palm oil, salt and pepper. It’s amazing what does not spoil without refridgeration. Tonight I added white sweet potatoes, more salt, margarine, and some yazik. Right now it’s simmering and I am very hungry. I will eat it with bread and margarine and some water. I will probably read my book as well.

That’s what I eat on a typical day in Sandema, U.E.R., Ghana, West Africa.