My foodie sister, Lana, has been asking about what I eat. Unfortunately, my culinary adventures have been less than exciting thus far. In Freetown, there are a few places to eat, usually in a hotel, that offer typical fare with relatively few modifications from what I’m used to. Now that I’m out in the bush, there is less that is readily available by way of processed foods, but much has been brought out to store here. As one can expect, the diet here is mainly based on rice and other starchy vegetables, such as yucca, cassava and plantain. Even the corn is not what one would expect and delivers dense, starchy yellow pods instead of juicy kernels. The kitchen guys, named Mohammed Moussa and Abdul, tend to use a lot of cooking oil when preparing dishes and usually make a meat dish for each meal. They also always make a flat-bread which is thicker and a little bit puffier than a tortilla. Breakfast is prepared at 7am, lunch at noon and dinner at 7pm everyday. Fresh green vegetables are not that easy to come by which is why Al and I brought some with us from Freetown. The garden has a large variety of plants, mostly fruits, but doesn’t harvest very much at a time. There are plenty of mangoes around and quite a few avocados (or pear) at the moment though. The pineapple grown here is the sweetest I’ve ever had. We have bags of potatoes and onions that we transported from the city as well. Alastair has been encouraging me to work with the guys and show them how to prepare things that I like but I’m still a bit hesitant. I don’t want to storm into their kitchen and take over, but hopefully with time I’ll feel comfortable to work with them and we’ll be able to learn from each other (perhaps I can teach them lentil soup). I was pleasantly surprised to see how much groundnut (peanuts) they have, and we can even mash our own peanut-butter. There is a fridge that is always stocked with sodas, juice, and bottles of water. If I really wanted any specific item I could probably find it, or something close to it, in Koidu, which is the closest town, it will just be expensive if it is a specialty item. The guys have been eager to make things that they think I will like, and I will tell you this, whoever was under the impression that I would waste away in Africa can rest assured. I’ll be more likely to come back twice my size with the way they’re attempting to feed me. Today, if we can acquire enough flour, I’m hoping to make cookies, or biscuits to my UK friends, for everyone here. I’m not sure what ingredients I have to use but I’m already committed so wish me luck!