We could write a book about what we’re eating, how we’re eating, when we’re eating. Our book would have a lot of pictures but unfortunately we haven’t taken a lot.
First, and foremost the kindness of strangers. Our hosts where we are staying and the people who look after their house have been extraordinarily generous preparing meals that have appeared when we come back from work. The town elder, Papa Ekabane, and his joyous wife Esperanze (where Bob and Claire and Drew are staying) have regularly put on Thanksgiving type meals with fish, antelope, chicken and hedgehog type game. But it’s the various preparations of cassava and corn that our really wonderful. Our favorites might be fish and manioc leaves or fish and another leaf called fornol or a corn porridge.
People come to the house or to the worksite and drop off pineapples or papaya, plaintain and bananas. In season now are atangas, a small, avocado type fruit that is quickly boiled, salted and great with beer. There was one woman who saw us out walking and called us over to her very humble home to give us a dish she had prepared.
Second, we have a regimen of food we brought with us which is pretty boring but fills us up and is relatively easy to prepare. This includes rice and canned lentils, tomatoes and fish. Breakfast is routine, consisting of oatmeal, bread/ when find it, fruit, coffee and juice. Our Peace Corps will be happy to remember the Nescafé and lait sucre and canned sardines and mackerel continue as staples.
The photos below are of a meal at Papa Ekabane’s with Gaston, Bob, Mary and Henk. The other is Gabon meets France, baguettes and atangas.