The two most popular topics of conversations within Peace Corps Volunteers are food and your health. We can have hours of conversations on what foods we miss the most from the States or what illnesses we have or have not had. Discussing diarrhea while eating is not weird, it’s actually very normal. Typical and actual conversations can take place as follows.
Me: Monica, I haven’t seen you in forever! How are you?
Monica: Good, how are you?
Me: Pretty good, I’m convinced I have a worm…
Monica: What, why?
Me: I’m always hungry and no matter what or how much I eat, I’m starving a few hours later.
Amber: Well, besides being hungry do you have any other symptoms? How are you bathroom experiences? (the terminology used was a lot more abrupt, but some of you might be eating while you are reading this blog so I’ll keep it PG)
Me: I mean I’m in Madagascar…when am I not having issues? (mind you I’m eating cookies at the same time)
Amber: Well keep notice of it over the next week and if it continues, I would call the doctors. You can always go to the pharmacy down the street and get a stool sample done. It may be awkward, and it takes a day, but you’ll know.
Me: I’ll think about it. I think it might be because I ran out of money so I lived off of 7000a this last week, before I paid my taxi brousse fees and my mpanasa lamba (sidenote: for your information, my taxi brousse fee is 3000a and my mpanasa lamba averages 1200a)…whoops…omgosh what I wouldn’t do for Taco Bell right now!
Monica: Ahhh, Nicole posted an instagram of Chipotle…I want Chiptole!
Me: Slurpies, a nice cold semi-frozen slurpie! Cookies!
Monica: The first thing I’m doing when I go home in December is eat ice cream! Ice cream!!!!
Me: Golden Spoons!! Enjoy it for me….I told my sister when she comes in December to visit all she is going to have in her luggage is food, good vazaha food! Oooooo Oreos!!
And so on….literally, hours of conversation can occur on the food we miss from the States. I incorporate Taco Bell into at least three conversations a day. No joke! My Gasy friends don’t even know what Taco Bell is, they just know I realllllyyyy want it. The plan is I might visit home next April for my birthday. I have already accepted the fact that I will probably get terribly sick on all the food I have eaten that my body is not accustomed to anymore, but I don’t care. If I get sick, it just means I can put more in my stomach! My list of must to eats (and they will be accomplished)…Chipotle, Flame Broiler, In’N’Out, Taco Bell (possibly multiple times a day), slurpies, ice cream (which includes Ben and Jerry’s, frozen yogurt, cookies and cream), oreos, Girl Scout Cookies, Fritos, McDonald French Fries, Panda Express, Pizzzzaaaaaaa (and I mean all the pizza places, Dominos, Lampposts, Pizza Hut, CPK), Denny’s pancakes, bread sticks, did I mention Taco Bell??