My journal of experiences prior to serving in the Peace Corps and during my Peace Corps service in Zambia, Africa. Intended for my friends and family in the States and others who are interested in following a 40-something year old woman's unconventional life. ("The contents of this website are mine alone and do not reflect any position of the U.S. Government or the Peace Corps.")
I’m learning there are different kinds of food deprivations.
There’s the kind I see here in my village amongst the villagers: not enough
food to eat. Children, I believe, are always hungry unless they just finished a
hearty meal of nshima, which is mainly to fill the tummy; not to please the
pallet, and maybe accompanied by a relish such as pumpkin leaves or bush meat
such as rats that had been killed in the fields while tilling or song birds slayed
by slingshot. It’s hunger season now and yes, those are some of the few things
There is another kind of food deprivation I’m personally
experiencing: limited access to American food. Here in the village there is
very little to choose from. There aren’t any restaurants or pizza delivery.
Chocolate is not found at the tuck shops. The only way I can satisfy my
American cravings is to buy food I like at the Shoprite in Solwezi; a
forty-five minute cab ride away. I make this trip about once a month.
Shoprite is a supermarket, but a little different from what
we’re used to in the States. You won’t find Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, or
Tootsie Rolls, and the cheese is very expensive. I don’t buy ice-cream for two
reasons: I don’t have a freezer and it would melt by the time I get back to the
village anyway, and the ice-cream they sell in the store does not meet American
standards as far as taste is concerned.
I’m becoming creative with my cooking since living in a
Zambian village. I have a broad array of spices I use to literally spice things
up such as sautéed cabbage with tomatoes and onions and maybe some soya pieces
added in. My sometimes intense chocolate cravings are quelled by powdered milk
and cocoa mixed with sugar and water. The only meat I eat is with my host
family when they serve village chicken (tough and stringy), or sausage along
The number one craving I’ve been experiencing starting three
months into my service is malted milk balls; can’t find them here. I dream
about eating a carton full of them. I asked my brother to send me some a while
back, but when I received the package it contained two cartons of milk duds.
“Malted milk balls,” is what I told my fellow PCV who is
returning from a trip from the States who asked me if he can bring me back
anything. Right now the carton is waiting for me in my mail box at the
provincial house in Solwezi. In six days I will indulge in the little
marble-sized delectable chocolate balls.
Will this treat satisfy my on-going craving? Will I begin
another new craving of a food I can’t get here in this country?
Stress is what brings on these cravings for American food.
The cravings can be very intense sometimes which adds…more stress.
I am glad I have these cravings instead of just wishing I
had something to fill my stomach like the village kids. They may never know the
cravings I experience and I may never know their need to just fill their