the fast that chooses many

I’ve gone without the last six meals as part of a fast that about 40 people we know about are participating in. Many are PC(USA) staff who are trying to discern ways to respond to the Global Food Crisis; others are located in many places around the U.S. and in other countries.

Now, just another 23 hours to go. I’m impressed at the fatigue. I’ve lost my appetite for the most part, though the garlicky smell of Haeja’s stir-fry did pique it! While I wanted to eat yesterday, today it is my sluggish body – for which a plodding walk is the most I can pull off – that seems to be telling me to eat. “Do something,” my body tells me. And when I lay down at 4:00 this afternoon, my heart was racing and shaking my whole body with every pump. Finally I slept and my heart had calmed. But I choose the fast – desperate poverty did not.

After my family finished dinner tonight, I pulled out an amazing book – Hungry Planet: What the World Eats – a book my son has spent hours studying. I said, “Julian, this family in Chad only spends…” He interrupted me and said, “$1.23…I know!”

The Aboubakar family of Darfur province, Sudan, in front of their tent in the Breidjing Refugee Camp, in eastern Chad, with a week’s worth of food.
© 2005 Peter Menzel from ‘Hungry Planet: What the World Eats’

Food Expenditure for One Week: 685 CFA francs/$1.23
**Market value of food rations since they are in a refugee camp; if purchased locally: $24.37

Read on to see what is on the menu for the week, and to compare them with a family in Germany. You can also see more photos and listen to a 8-minute segment about the families on NPR.


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