Just when I couldn't be any more peculiar, I go and make a line-up of my Morvite selection. There just wasn't enough light in my room for a picture and a picture was mandatory.
I have mixed feeling about the food situation, I am happy to eventually be going home to all the delicious meals I have been missing for the past two years but there are aspects of my current diet that I will miss. I eat very healthily and the times when I don't it is usually my own fault. Getting food was an inconvenience so when I would make trips, I loaded up with food that would last me as long as possible and be as cheap as possible. This was out of laziness and in an effort to avoid traveling but also as a way to save as much for vacation time. So my diet was restricted to fruit and vegetables, rice, beans, eggs, and Morvite for a majority of meals.
Out of the food I eat now I will miss Morvite the most. If you don't know what it is I must inform you. It is a sorghum based meal replacement with vitamins, minerals etc. added to it. It is basically a daily vitamin crushed up into a carb paste with added flavors to make it more palatable (Best - Banana, Strawberry; OK - Vanilla, Pineapple, Original; Hot Garbage - Honey). I wouldn't say it is delicious nor is it repulsive. It is merely fuel and a cheap fuel at that. I enjoy having the options to just add water to a bowl, stir and consume and have most of my nutritional needs met. I savor a good meal and my taste buds are not deformed. I simply appreciate the availability of options. Is it sad that a grown man will miss a nutrient glop? I'll let myself answer my own question with another question: Am I really a grown man? And to that I say yes, I think I am. I digress, maybe I don't have anything to worry about because I don't really know the state of quick and cheap meal replacements in the United States. Maybe there is something better than Morvite and everything will be ok. If it isn't on the other hand, I might just have to talk to the Morvite people about a wider distribution or go to the lab and create the perfect food for my own mad purposes.
Aside from Morvite, food isn't that much different in the United States, there are just less options, at least out where I am. As a bonus, things seem to be cheaper, I do not recall the prices of food in the United States because I never really had to hang on to my scrimpings the way I do here. Fruit and vegetables are cheap, especially when in season. I remember one particular shopping excursion where pineapples where on sale for 3R each. That's less that $0.50 per pineapple! I bought a lot of pineapples that day. When orange season comes around you can buy a large sack for 10R. Eggs are consistently fairly cheap, I buy them in carrying cases of 48 eggs which is usually ~1R per egg meaning about $0.15 per egg. If I was really trying to stretch my money I could go about 1 month on 200R (~$28) and still be pretty healthy and happy. I have done it for less and once because I didn't get my stipend and ran out of some of my better food. Those were some cranky and irritable times and I only had myself to blame. Take it from me, food is important to be able to function properly.
Additionally I am for all intents and purposes (intensive porpoises if you want to be exact) a vegetarian (ova-lacto-vegetarian). This is only because meat is expensive and I don't want to deal with meat juices where it is difficult to uphold more hygienic cooking practices, in other words I would have to wash all my things much more I think and I am anti-washing more things here. I would buy meat (KFC is truly finger licken' good, way better here) on the days I go shopping as a treat to myself since shopping days usually puts me into a dark place. Then I will go without it for long periods of time. I don't feel particularly healthier and if I am it could just as easily be attributed to eating more fruits and vegetables. I don't think I will continue being a vegetarian but I do like the idea of valuing meat as an occasional specialty item rather than something for every meal.
I somewhat fear my upcoming change because the routine I have become comfortable with will be turned on its head. I am afraid my willpower has been eroded to non existent. Any snack food or candy that was sent to me from friends and family from home was consumed that day (this includes 5 lbs bags of peanut m&ms), not because I wanted to but because I had to and I could not stop myself. I mean there is an entire aisle dedicated to delicious cereals in the United States, how am I supposed to not eat all of those all the time, how are you all able to resist it right now!? Think of your favorite meal. You can go out and get it if you wanted to, either by buying the ingredients and preparing it yourself or actually having it made for you. That's a remarkable thing and I am ready for it but I will need to rebuild my self-restraint. Moreover, for the most part I eat healthily because my circumstances force me into it. It is just the case that rice and beans and fruit and vegetables are cheap and plentiful. If candy and cheese were cheap and plentiful, I suppose I would have a perpetual blood cheese content (BCC) of 0.1 and have gotten diabetes by now. And because I have a limited and boring diet most of the time a new and tasty meal is all I need to have a good day. I think I will miss being pleased quite so easily. I suppose it is not impossible to have every meal be a good meal and be appreciative but I think one of the greatest human abilities is the capacity to get used to anything. This has its positive qualities as a lot of my Peace Corps experience has been an exercise in becoming accustomed to a different way of life (more difficult) but it can obviously have its drawbacks as well. So while I am looking forward to all the choices and easy, tasty food I am going to get when I am back home, I think that eventually I will become oblivious to how good I have it and stop being quite so healthy. Perhaps it will be a futile mission but I will try.