One of the things that being in the Philippines has really taught me is about what I want and what I need. I wrote a long blog entry about it when I first got here. I spoke about living a life without what I thought I needed. Besao is essentially round 2 of the want vs need experiment. This time the biggest change I am making is adopting the Besao diet. I am living the next month without a refrigerator. There is also no market in Besao, and the meat available is either canned, frozen, or, if you’re lucky, from whatever animal was slaughtered that day. So far it has been a lot of fun. Going to the store is a lot like on Iron Chef when they pull of the sheet to reveal the day’s secret ingredient. Friday it was chicken thighs, Sunday it was pork liver. Sunday morning I had 5 potatoes, garlic, pepper, 2.2 lbs of green beans, 1 onion, 1 pack of Ramen, soy sauce, oil, half a bag of peanuts, and 1 lb of liver. I made liver and onion adobo with green beans. It was only a couple hundred grams of rice short of being a proper Filipino meal. I ate what I could, and I will eat the rest for lunch and/or dinner tomorrow (if ants don’t find it). I’m no expert, but I think this is basically how many people in the Philippines live every day. They take what they have, and make the best dish they can out of it.
So…why am I telling you this? It certainly wasn’t for sympathy. I got to eat a piece of meat that was so fresh it had never needed to see any form of preservation. Only a hunter or fisherman can truly know how special that is. I can’t really find the words to explain why I wrote this, so instead I will tell you a story that happened to someone, somewhere, sometime.
The NFL is currently in a lockout. People question, “Why can’t these millionaires and billionaires just be happy with everything they do have and play football.” Then they go to their refrigerator and say, “there’s nothing to eat” and get a little bit bummed out. The moral of the story isn’t to feel guilty, it’s just to take your own advice. Appreciate what you do have, because to many people you are the millionaire.
Anyway, it’s late at night. I hope you can understand the mad ramblings of a tired missionary.
PS. The mad ramblings of a tired missionary would make a far more appropriate blog title.