Thursday, March 15, 2012
Food for Thought
Our translator, Philip, informed me today that people are down to eating one meal per day. This is probably not true for all families in Timu, but it is true for some. We are in the middle of dry season and the stores of food are running low. The beans are long gone, the pumpkins are gone, everything fresh from the gardens is gone...and even the wild plants are dead and dying. So what are the Ik eating? Maize...lots and lots of maize. Imagine if that was the only food in your diet. For those who eat breakfast, they grind the dry maize the night before to make a maize flour. The next morning, they make porridge with this flour. Some Ik have salt, most do not. Maize and water. That's it. There is no lunch except for the children at the school. Guess what they get? Maize! For all you mom's out there...when your children complain about what they have to eat for lunch...just show them this picture and remind them of all they have to be thankful for. Dry season will hang around for a few more months and when rainy season begins, the produce won't be ready for a few more months after that. Until then, it's maize. Philip also told me today that people wouldn't be able to live on this land if it weren't for the World Food Program (WFP) distributing bags of maize to them. The land just cannot sustain people for 365 days. What would they do if they weren't getting food distributions? They would move and find land that could sustain them or settle where NGO's would feed them regularly. Is it any wonder that Africa is so dependent on the western world? We give them solutions that are not sustainable for the long-run and that only save them for a day, not a lifetime.