This morning I woke up because I was hungry. Just hungry, not starving. I lay in bed contemplating if I wanted to lose precious sleep to get up, probably to start the rest of my day, and potentially not be able to go back to sleep. I disregarded the hunger, wanting my sleep more, and fell back asleep for maybe ten more minutes before I could no longer ignore the growling of my stomach.
As I went to brush my teeth I marveled and truly, deeply appreciated the realization that 1) I was hungry, and 2) I had access to food, and at the snap of two fingers. I would get to food by using the stairs, turning the corner, and opening the cold box that housed all of it. Looking forward to it, I smiled.
I thought about people in my home country of Madagascar and how this was not a reality for the majority of them; Some of these people were my relatives, my extended family. Sadness and guilt replaced my excitedness. Then anger appeared at the thought of how much food I’ve seen being wasted here. I saw a lot of this when I was in undergrad. Good grief! We don’t like something so we throw it away just to fish for the next food item that we will eat half of, deem ourselves too full, then look for the closest garbage bin to dispose of it. Kudos to us for using the garbage bin, shame on us for being snobs.
I watched the documentary “God grew tired of us” yesterday. This documentary covered the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan and their journey out of Sudan into Kenya when Sudan was struck with war. In Kenya, 86,000 of these boys lived at a refuge camp that was barely big enough to hold them all, let alone able to provide clothing and food for them. I was reminded of how people struggle without food. Not struggle like having-to-go-to-the-grocery-store-because-we’re-out-of-milk struggle, but the we-haven’t-eaten-for-two-weeks struggle. Having lived here in the U.S. for several years now, I had forgotten. I remember back in Kenya, I saw “street boys” who bought glue with the money tourists would give them and they would sniff the glue because that lasted longer than the one meal the money could cover, and it got them high to the point where they could forget about their hunger.
Sad reality. (Here I click my tongue and shake my head, but that’s about it because I don’t personally know that reality and I doubt I will ever get to experience it. I pray I never have to experience it.)
I could end this post by asking you to be aware of what you do with food, or guilting you about how much you have and waste, or by asking you to appreciate all that you have, but I’m not going to do that. I’m just going to end it.