On Tuesdays, the cook goes to the market in Cap on the tuck tuck. The tuck tuck is a pick up truck with a top that is brightly painted and honors Jesus by name or pictures. Many people and things squeeze in and the speed along mostly dirt roads with big holes but there is some sign of an effort at paving. The road to Cap is lined with small markets and people walking and visiting and businesses of all sorts. I guess our version of a strip mall and the market in Cap is the big market that takes up many streets and each stand seems to be covered in a single, small umbrella so it looks like many umbrellas all down the streets.
They bring back eggs, fruit and three live chickens that are killed and eaten during the week and live in the chicken coop until that time. I will try to get baby chicks and start laying hens again. They tried, but something got them as can happen everywhere.
There is a place that bakes bread on great charcoal griddles under the trees along the way.
The cook prepares three big meals a day. Porridge spiced with cardamon for breakfast with fresh fruit and then some form of rice and beans with sauce for lunch and dinner. Vegetables are cooked into a sauce. They are mostly potatoes and plaintain and a few peppers in a tomato sauce. There is a stove, when there is electricty, and a propane stove but she seems happiest with the charcoal outdoors. Food is stored in buckets and there is no refrigeration. These plates of rice and beans are filling and overall I think are healthy enough in many ways. Most people I see eat one meal a day and so suffer from a lack of clean water, stomach aches from long hours with no food and a lack of some vitamins and minerals.
They do not have fermented food as many cultures do to help with heat and storage. No dairy or fermented vegetables. Dried fish but not dried fruit that I have seen. I am sure I will learn more about the food and how to advise the women I see within their culture and with what is available.
I am learning about the native plants and their uses and hope that I can make that a part of our pharmacy. I have transplanted some into our garden, much to the amusement of those who helped me.