Thursday, September 29, 2011

To Market

Before I even begin to write about the incredible fruits, vegetables, and dairy purchased at the market today, I need to write about how I was able to afford this amazing food.

I am not going to go into deep detail about my financial situation right now, but I will say this: ATMs  are an absolute pain while traveling. Yes, they make it "convenient" to withdraw money from the States, but it is expensive. My financial... issue, we'll say...  all started because I had to take out money from my account in the US in order to pay rent, because our landlord makes his tenants pay for three months at a time. (Don't ask me why, and yes, we are planning to move out in December if possible.) Needless to say, I did not have that money lying around, so I had to use an ATM. The interchange fees, ATM fees, and banking fees ended up costing me $20. Now I realize that $20 may not seem like a lot of money, but when you see how much food I purchased today for $15, you will see how vital that $20 could have been to my life. Anyway, I will not be getting paid until Monday, (and even that is not a guarantee), so I was left with just enough money to pay for the bus to get myself to and from school all week and go to Bailoterapia twice. My roommate, (Tina), and I have been living on rice, pasta, bread, and eggs since the end of last week. That's not exactly a healthy person's dream scenario; it's just what was left in our home to make.

Here comes the part where we were able to go to the market:

Tina and I were incredibly hungry yesterday at school. Our stomachs were growling, but again, we had no money and therefore couldn't do anything about it. One of our coworkers, (a 62 year-old amazing man who recently moved here with his wife), overheard us talking. He was a personal trainer for years in the States and lives a very healthy lifestyle, so he was definitely bothered by the lack of fruits, vegetables, and protein in our diet. At school this morning, he walked into the teacher's lounge, handed me a $20 bill and said, "Please go to the market and get yourself some good food." I was overcome with gratitude. We will obviously be paying him back after we get paid next week, but he did not give it to us expecting to receive anything in return. Generosity truly is spirit.

*Side note: I realize that we were in no way, shape or form starving, but this was an incredible gift to receive, and so I needed to share. We are so fortunate to have such a great crew of people to work with.*

So... here is what we were able to purchase!

10 Eggs
2 Cauliflower
12 Onions, (2 red, 10 white)
3 Avocados
6 Peppers
6 Tomatoes
12 Bananas
Mandarin Oranges

All of this for a grand total of $15.
(We plan on using the remaining $5 to purchase bread, cereal, and yogurt.)

Thank you, Ken for bringing healthy food back into our lives and tummies! :)

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