Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bless Me Father for I have Sinned...

It's been 678 years since my last confession. So sue me.

Anyway, I thought it was an appropriate title given my current lifesyle (e.g. Church maniac) to discuss the current state of my eating affairs in Nigeria. The sad and shocking truth is that I've been eating meat. Not much, and not enjoying it, but eating it nonetheless. It was one of those other things I thought might happen but I neither dwelt on it nor mentioned it because it was too depressing to think about.

Given that I am a guest in some very gracious people's house, I will do anything to be the least bothersome guest possible. Also given that Nigerian social customs lie somewhere stuck in the 1950's, I knew if I said I didn't eat meat I might people falling all over themselves to accommodate me (it's happened before). So I made the decision to eat whatever was served, and if I had a choice, to stick to vegetarian or fish meals. It works some of the time, but definitely not all of the time. One night we had Shepard's Pie for dinner, and that is impossible to eat without ingesting meat. We also had spaghetti with meat sauce another night, so that was out as well. I started out with very, very small portions (like 1 oz. of meat in a serving) because I knew it would likely make me sick otherwise. All in all I still eat less than 3 oz. total in one sitting, but still, it makes my heart hurt. I try not to think about it and instead focus on eating healthy balanced meals so I don't get sick (again). I think of it as protein and nothing more. Because if I start to think about animal welfare in Nigeria is makes my stomach hurt and I get very sad.

I know it's probably hard for some of my readers to understand (namely my sister and mother) but being a non-pain-in-the-butt guest is more important to me than anything, even eating things I generally abhor. It's mind over matter, and it's important enough to me to make it happen. When I get back to the US I will return to my normal veggie/pescatarian eating habits, but for now I will focus on being a gracious guest and a healthy person in physical being (probably not in emotional since I'm conflicted with the meat) which is the most important thing to surviving this trip. I just thought I'd give you an update so you wouldn't be too in shock. Sigh. 3 years down the tube.

**The above picture isn't meant to imply that Nigerians eat Monkeys or Dogs. I just googled "sad animals" and that was the worst decision ever. So I picked the first sad one I could stand and there you have it. Seriously, if you love animals, don't make the same mistake. Horrible.**


Laurie said...

no, I'm not surprised at all. I think it's the best thing to do, and fits in with the whole idea of total immersion which is pretty necessary for what you're doing.

You'll bounce right back when you get back to the US and you can start your calendar over again.

ange said...

I support AND understand what you are doing 100%! Being a pain in the ass guest would be the worst.

So don't sweat it, keep up the "it's protein mentality" and I will make you some delicious veggie foods when you get home.