Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 2013 - Holiday Out

For every 50 blogs Lisa writes I should at least write one. Writing about my job on a public blog may not be career-promoting, but something interesting actually did happen at work the other day…over lunch.

I eat lunch with a few of my colleagues at this very local place outside and around the corner from the office about three times per week. I pay almost a dollar per meal and then 60 cents for a large bowl of fruit. We sit among regular Tanzanians, and it is very relaxed and I only had a stomach problem once from eating there so it is completely safe. Anyway, I had an interesting experience at this very place the other day. Oh, the place is called "Holiday Out” because it is across from the Holiday Inn hotel (which now actually is called something else, but that doesn’t matter).

First: Do you remember when you were a kid and couldn’t finish your meal, and your parents would tell you to think about the starving people in Africa?

I don’t want to get into the definitions of food security, stunting and food consumption scores here but the argument never really made any sense to me. Okay, one should appreciate every meal but leaving a quarter of my Danish potatoes wouldn’t really make much difference for malnutrion in Tanzania.

So this place (Holiday Out) they always give you sooo much rice and now that I am in my mid-thirties my metabolism isn’t what it used to be so I’m trying to cut back on the carbs a little. So I tell the designated rice-scooper-guy that I only “nataka kidogo” (want a little), but he still gives me a very large portion…and, in this way this place reminds me of the Cheesecake Factory (Lisa may disagree because they don’t actually have any forks or knives at Holiday Out). Anyway, he gives me more rice than I wanted so upon finishing my meal I put the large plate aside leaving a handful of the dangerous high-carb white rice on my plate.

Suddenly, in the middle of a casual lunch conversation with my colleagues from our sanitation unit, a street boy walks up to our table and asks me if I’m going to eat the last rice. I say no. He takes the rice in one quick hand motion, gives an appreciative nod and walks off.

So, there you go Mum: my inability to finish my meal actually helped someone in Africa this time.



Allan said...


mum said...

It has always been my dream that someone might benefit from the very strict upbringing of my children - mum

Alex said...

Hello Lisa !

Congrats for your blog. It is great.

I am Alex Prats, married with Mar, two kids aged 3 and 5, from Barcelona, but living in London. We are considering moving to Dar in January, and, as you can imagine, we have some questions about life in Dar.
Do you think you would be happy to have a skype chat with us? that would be extremely useful.
We lived in thailand for 3 years before we had kids. I have been working in NGO sector for over 10 years now. As regional director WEst Africa for Oxfam, I have traveling quite a lot in West Africa, but never in East and Central. Mar is an HR manager at GE.
Well, that´s a bit about us.
Looking forward to hearing from you. My email is
best wishes