After class one day this week, I headed "downtown" to grab some food because I was very hungry, as it was nearly 3 pm and id eaten some peanuts at 10 am. (pardon the terrible typing, i got a new brace for my right wrist and am thus typing left-handed, which does not lend itself to correct capitalization or punctuation.)
When I say downtown, i mean the area of town called the "Carrefour". It means intersection, and it's a trianguar section formed by the fork of two paved roads. Nearly every volunteer has a carrefour, but mine is, I modestly think, the best. I have a gas station (aka walmart) with consistently cold drinks and a selection of overly preserved snacks and cookies. (think pringles and twinkies...but lower quality twinkies). There are also women selling ice, bananas, and fried cakes. There is also transportation to at least 3 major towns every single day. That's not to be taken for granted. Many of my friends have to wait for market day to get to even one town! And yet im still considered au village.
Anyway, there are also a multitude of women selling rice and a variety of sauces. The sauces are the best earlier in the day, so on this particular afternoon, I had to settle for cold sauce and slightly dried out rice. It was, however, my favorite sauce, so that made up for it. I bought the smallest plate for 3000 francs. It was a huge bowl of rice. I mean imagine a Chipotle bowl if its major axis was its diameter. (coughnerdcough) I also bought 2 sacs of filtered water, one of which i drank right away in the complete ecstacy known only to a chalk-coated teacher who just spent the last 6 hours talking and then walked ten minutes in the 90 degree arid sun, then found gloriously cold water. I ate maybe half of my rice bowl before I started to worry about popping the seams on my dress. So I left it to be finished by some passing child (oh thats not what you do with leftovers?) and started waddling home. But then I got distracted by freshly fried cakes and plaintains, so I bought one of each of those for dessert. And then I realized I was all out of cash.
My entire meal (too much rice and sauce for 3000 francs, 2 sachets of water for 1000, and 2 desserts for 1000 francs) had included a main dish (carbs, fats, proteins, and veggies), two drinks (albeit water), and 2 desserts (both delicious, btw). The American cost: 71 cents.
I wiped grease from the plaintain off my face and contentedly waddled home.
And they say life is hard here.