It isn't that there is nothing to eat but being here has created an obsession with whatever my next meal will be. Foods are available in waves, and can never be kept for long. Right now a glorious watermelon glut is taking over the country, but before too long those will have disappeared from the roadside to eventually be replaced by oranges. I recall a day last year- I wanted to cry- when the market had nothing but rows and rows of bitter tomato, the (aptly named) veggie my former sitemate insisted was poison. Actually, come to think of it, I watch my host mother gnaw on poison all the time- raw cassava allegedly contains arsenic or something. It doesn't seem to spook Gambians though I know that some West Africans have it on the banned foods list. A recent egg shortage threw us off completely but prompted me to discover an alternate (and pricier) protein choice- the canned meat that locals affectionately refer to as "luncheon." Here's a sample recipe from Colleen's hut:
Beans and Greens
Boil local beans with salt- drain and mix with sauteed onion, garlic and finely chopped cassava leaves. Add (pounded) black pepper, thyme margerine and Bacos if you have them. Serve with gatorade.