Day 6 of the Ration Challenge is complete! I only have one more day to go! I can do this! (I keep telling myself this!).
Another restless night…I did not expect to ache like this from doing the challenge, all I expected was to feel hungry and hangry. I hope my legs will soon recover but it is a small price to pay as I know my life can return to normal on Monday.
Whilst I was tossing and turning in my sleep what struck me was how positive refugees seem to be from the stories I have read. Imagine if you woke up one day to find you had lost your home, you had to leave the place you called home including your job, your friends and family to live in a camp with no money and barely any food to live off. No internet, no TV, no phone, no car, no luxuries, no relaxing bath, no shower, no pampering, no meals out, no shopping trips…instead literally just the clothes on your back. Imagine how you would feel…. I imagine we would feel pretty awful…yet when I read refugees stories, they are smiling in all the photos, and they radiate positivity and are incredibly grateful.
One woman fled Syria with her children and although she is now safe, she has no ability to earn an income therefore she is reliant on rations, but their rations are constantly being reduced so they no longer have breakfast. She talks about how she lived in prosperity and dignity in Syria before the war and now she feels powerless. Yet she remains positive and determined to help other refugees and so she educates and powers other women with love and a smile. What an inspiring woman!
Another woman talks about her memories of life before she became a refugee and what she remembers most was laughter. Now she cannot afford medical care when her children get sick which breaks her heart, and she feels she is unable to care for her children. We are incredibly lucky to have the NHS as that would never happen…your children mean everything, and I know that my children come first, and I would literally do anything for them. I cannot imagine the pain and helplessness she must feel which breaks my heart. Yet everyday she makes sure that they sit down as a family to eat dinner together from the rations she is given.
When I first opened my recipe book which came with my rations, I was surprised with how many recipes there were using a limited amount of rice, lentils, kidney beans, chickpeas, flour, and oil. Refugees have come up with some of these recipes which is inspiring that out of so little they have thought of different ways to use these ingredients.
I had to choose which recipes to have during this week as I didn’t have enough ingredients to make them all, but I could have also made falafel, crepes, kidney bean dip, mujadara (a lentil and rice dish), rice with milk, fasoulia (like a kidney bean broth/stew), fish cakes (rice, kidney beans and sardines), focaccia, rice crackers, kidney bean rolls and pizza (flatbread with kidney beans and sardines).
I take my hat off to them for having such little variety of ingredients and such small quantities yet making all these different recipes!
I have found the recipes I have tried to be quite tasteless but being able to add salt or a vegetable such as onion, makes a massive difference.
I chose to use my chickpeas to make hummus which admittedly tastes different to the hummus we buy from the supermarket as the shop bought one also contains sesame seed paste, lemon juice and garlic puree. However, I would consider making it again but with chickpeas in a can as it took a long time to make from dried chickpeas.
I have to admit that I do not have a desire to go to Jordan (where a lot of refugees live), however part of me would like to go and see the refugees although I imagine I would find it upsetting as well as humbling. I have had times when I have struggled to afford enough food, but I have always been able to feed my children. It is hard to feel positive when you are struggling yet we have so much help and support available to us…. I am in awe of refugees, and I am so grateful that thanks to everyone’s donations I will be able to help them.