The Things They Ate

October 26th, 2012

Everyone assumes we eat beans and rice every day.  When they picture a field scientist, they picture tents and pit toilets and beans and rice.  Well, here at Gombe we don’t live in tents, our toilets, though still holes in the ground, feature fashionable wooden seats, and we would give our left arm to have beans and rice most days.  Our diet isn’t bad, but it isn’t impressive, and it’s very heavy on the carbs.  Breakfast is a sort of fend for yourself situation and usually consists of Ashura’s banana bread (MUCH less sweet than the American variety, but in a good way) or oatmeal or left over chapati.  Lunch is almost invariably plain pasta.  We typically eat this around four in the afternoon, so it’s really more of a tide-you-over-until-dinner sort of thing.  And then dinner is one of these delicacies:

1) Chapati and beans (this is an all-time favorite…we get it infrequently)

2) Chipsi mayai (translated into English: Eggy French Fries…this is the second favorite and is exactly what it looks like: French fries cooked in eggs)

3) Rice, pea sauce, and mchicha (because I was violently ill the first time I ate the pea sauce, I cannot stomach it, so rice night is always a bit of a disappointment (pea sauce not featured for this reason)…mchicha is Swahili for spinach, only I don’t think it really is spinach exactly)

4) Pasta and mchicha (nothing better than having pasta for lunch AND dinner…sometimes I supplement with my hard-boiled egg that I’m supposed to save for the morning)

5) Potatoes (this picture features pasta too—sometimes we get two carbs for dinner—but usually the potatoes are just on their own)

6) Potatoes and fish (fish is my favorite, but also fairly rare…it’s a bit annoying to eat since it’s all bony and looking at you, but you get over it)

And that’s pretty much it.  There are a couple other things that occasionally come into play, but that is mostly what we eat.  Every.  Single.  Day.  Man, I want a pizza.