Being Spoiled

For my birthday this year my husband decided to spoil me. First, he got me a Kindle Touch and Kindle case. I’ve been wanting a Kindle for years to take with me on long airplane rides and long nights in the field (with nothing to do). The first thing I did was sign up for a 90-day free trial of the New Yorker. Next, I’ll get myself some books…probably the Hunger Games to start.

In addition, he took me out on the town. First we went to Founding Farmers for an early dinner. The evening started with cocktails. Founding Farmers has an impressive array of house-made cocktails. They make their own syrups (and ginger beer) and ingredients like mint or cucumber are freshly muddled.

I’m drinking “The Constitution,” which is a Plymouth Gin infused with chamomile tea, ginger, and blueberries, lemon juice, and a splash of seltzer. The drink was cool and refreshing without being overly alcoholic or sweet. Lewis had a “Clementine,” which is clementine and chili-infused Reposado Organic Tequila, Benedictine, lime and pineapple juices, and agave nectar. This was also a very fresh tasting cocktail. Later, I had a Dark N Stormy (Gosling dark rum, house-made ginger beer, lime), which is one of my favorite drinks, and Lewis had a Southside (Muddled lemons, mint, CapRock Organic Gin, and sugar).

Dinner was also amazing. Founding Farmers is simple fare that is locally sourced and organic. I had salmon, cooked on a cedar plank and glazed with apricot and maple syrup. As a side I had roasted beets, carrots, and turnip. Lewis had a filet mignon with green beans and sweet potato.

Oh I almost forgot to talk about dessert. You know it’s a special night when you order dessert. I had a piece of carrot cake that was so amazing my husband (who hates the stuff) said, “Maybe I like carrot cake.” The cake was served with a scoop of house made vanilla ice cream. I’m not a big fan of ice cream but this stuff was light and fluffy. He had a bananas foster shake, which was also amazing. It was light for a shake and not overly sweet.

After dinner we headed over to the Kennedy Center for a show of La Cage Aux Folles. The movie Bird Cage with Robbin Williams and Nathan Lane is one of my all time favorites so it was fun to see this on-stage version staring George Hamilton with full on drag-queens, great songs with great singing, corsets, feather boas, stilettos, and anything sparkling. Our seats orchestra level seats were wonderful.

What an awesome way to celebrate my birthday!



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The Biggest Different between Our Jobs

is the holiday party.

Lewis’ office celebrated their 10 year anniversary, and in doing so threw a lavish holiday bash. My small company can afford to spend roughly $3,000 on all social events. So, by the time the holiday party rolls around, this amounts to bar food, games, and 1 alcoholic beverage per person. Everyone wears jeans and shit talks each other over pool and shuffle board. On the other hand, Lewis’ company throws a party.

First, everyone gets dressed up.

Second, his company also had a fully open bar- I had a martini and long island ice tea. I know, you must be thinking, “who does that?” This girl.

Third, prizes. His company randomly selected names of staff to receive $1,000 checks. They gave out something like 24 of these. Nothing says I love you more than cold, hard cash. These cash prizes were in addition to the regular $250 gift certificates to Ruth Chris Steakhouse, 46″ flat screen tv, ipods, ipads, various games, and tickets to sporting events.

The forth major difference was  gambling- black jack, roulette, craps, and poker. I played roulette for the first time, and think it is a completely pointless game.

5th,  the after party. My colleagues organized an impromptu outing to the Black Cat in Washington DC for a late night of 80s dancing. Of course the company didn’t participate in this. Lewis’ company on the other hand continued the celebration at the bar with 4 rounds of shots (I abstained while Lewis, shall we say, indulged).



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Some pictures

Christmas dinner- huge organic sea scallops, organic ham and salmon with a home-made walnut relish, mashed potatoes, buttner nut squash casserole

Our Christmas tree with flowers left over from our wedding

Typical scene- Lewis in heaven (I mean on 3 computers).

Not so typical- Lewis in a shirt sent from Liberia from my Liberian co-worker. Isn’t it amazing that someone in a country as poor as Liberia can send a gift to a total stranger?

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For about the last 8 months, I’ve wanted to convert my corner of the conference room aka my “office” into what I term a “spa-office” or spaffice for short (or about the same). The idea is that we spend so much time at the office yet it is a place that is physically as well as emotionally stressful. By physically stressful, I mean that the light may not be comfortable- too bright, too dark or too florescent, chairs often do not help align your spine, there may be annoying beeping and/or other sounds (such as traffic in my case), etc etc etc. Spas on the other hand are appealing and relaxing in so many ways- comfortable places to sit, appropriate background music or sounds, aromatherapy etc etc etc.

So I’ve been thinking why not combine both. Of course this is a great office joke. I have a very lightly scented candle (Aveda) that I sometimes light to which co-workers pass by and say in a snarky way, “I see the spa is open.” Anyway, to date my spa-ffice has been a pretty big disappointment for the most part mainly because I haven’t invested anything by dreaming into it. So here is what I want:
1. A noise machine
2. A blue light to combat winter woes
3. Another Scented candle
4. A vinyl wall decal for decoration
5. An ergonomic chair or support to align my spine (it feels so much better to sit up straight)
6. A foot rest
7. A big screen (I work on a laptop) with an arm (so that I can adjust where the screen is positioned)
8. A really cool pencil holder to keep on my desk

So yes, I realize converting my office into a “spa-ffice” might make me that person. But it would be awesome to be able to spend my working day in a place that is pleasing to the senses. It might even help productivity in terms of reducing stress, adapting to change, and being more creative.


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Steve Jobs Commencement Speech

One of my friends posted this speech on Facebook, and I thought it was inspiring. In his Stanford commencement speech (in 2005) Steve Jobs talks about how he stayed focused on what he loved so that all of his  unique experiences (for example dropping out of college, losing Apple after building it, and taking a calligraphy class)  came together in the success of Apple.

I think he’s right about staying focused. In the speech he says he would ask himself every morning, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If the answer “no” came back too many days in a row, Jobs says he would move on. It seems like simple logic, but how many people work jobs they hate or are in unhappy marriages? So many of us avoid intentional step towards happiness. Why?Perhaps we’re too scared of the changes in our lives that could help us be happier.

Besides being singularly focused, I think the factor Jobs never explicitly talked about was having a huge risk appetite. He made choices like completely giving up on college and pursuing something else, starting a new company and staying in Silicon Valley after public humiliation that took a great deal of risk. In my recent interest in leaders, I have read the autobiographies of Nelson Mandela and Ghandi. Unlike others, what separates these leaders from non-leaders is their exceptional ability to take risks. Perhaps their focus is their safety net, and without focus taking risks doesn’t make sense.

I think that Jobs is also right about seemingly random experiences informing his success. In Nelson Mandela’s autobiography he talks about grappling with an issue of justice in his adolescence. At the time, Mandela had a student council leadership position, and intentionally disobeyed a rule he viewed as unjust. It seems like he chose, even unconsciously, such experiences and ultimately used them to fight apartheid in South Africa.

‘You’ve got to find what you love,’ Jobs says


This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

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After so long

I wrote this in March….it’s only taken 5 months to post!


Almost 15 years ago, Warren, Lewis’ older brother, studied in the town of Schlietz in East Germany. As luck would have it, work sent me to Frankfurt, and his host family had since relocated to Mainz. This meant we were only 90 minutes away. So on a Saturday morning, Lewis, my uncle who lives in Germany and I, set off to meet complete strangers. We had no real information about the Welsh family. We didn’t know what they looked like, whether they could speak English, or what they liked. We guessed sizes and brought a couple of t-shirts and key chains out of courtesy.  We didn’t have a real connection to the family either. Petra, Michael, Stephanie and Frank were only names. So walking up to their apartment building was awkward. With what kind of conversation could we possibly fill an entire afternoon?

Once seated, coffee and German cake in hand, our conversation slowly began. Petra, Warren’s host mom, was as nervous as we were and kept jumping up and down to ensure that our glasses were never empty. She had looked around for remnants of Warren’s stay in her home and produced pictures of a young, skinny kid playing with her then 2-year old. The same girl, now a young woman, smiled politely and nuzzled her boyfriend just to my left. What an incredible change from the swaddled toddler. Stephanie, assured us that she remembered Warren and her eyes twinkled as she recalled the attention he gave her, to which her boyfriend shot her a weary and jealous glance. Petra produced a translation rock on which Warren had written a message and a toy that he had sent. She laughed as she admitted that after so many years she still had not mastered it. Lewis stood up and demonstrated its use; it was a clear connection to his older brother.

As the day wore on, the distance between us slowly wore away. We learned that Petra had re-married and her new husband, at her insistence, spent hours looking for Warren on the Internet. She had remembered Warren’s middle name and found him by trying combinations of his first name, last name, and middle name before being able to connect with him over LinkdIn. We told her about his new and beautiful home. We told her about how much he loves his children, what a good father he is, and about how healthy and happy his family his. There was an audible sense of relief in her voice and her eyes welled with tears to hear the news.

While I didn’t show it, I too was overcome with emotion. Just an hour ago Petra, to me, was a complete stranger, living in a different country, and with the stress of her own life. Yet we were somehow connected to each other for the care we shared for the Lewis family. She said that Warren was like a second son to her and that there were not many days she didn’t think of the year he spent with her family. She said that she had seen parts of Germany because of him and I got the feeling that his stay had changed her in ways she could not express with her limited command of English. I thought of the butterfly affect and the way that we can touch one person’s life without really knowing the effect until years later. It moved me that someone so far away still cared, and reminded me how, despite distance, people connect in meaningful ways.

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Liberia Blog

Here is a blog I wrote back in May.

I’m blogging live from the field, but the posts will actually go up once back in DC. Out in the field is one of the only times when my brain is fully concentrated at the task at hand. So many times I don’t find the time, mental energy or motivation to write anything, but what I’m tasked to write. But I thought I would try blogging live from the field to capture my thoughts.

Day 1

Met with team leads and coordinators to set the week’s agenda. I imagined the work here to be intense, but wasn’t expecting stakeholders to look to us for so much. Must manage these expectations. Headed to Nimba and Bong counties on Wednesday. Long drives, bad hotels, food is questionable IF we can find it, don’t count on electricity. One  guy asked me, “Do you like bucket bathing?”

UN vehicles everywhere and army guys sharing the “Palm Resort” in the area of town called Congo Town with us. We can see hand water pumps on the side of the road. There are these mini gas pumps that can’t sell more than 20 gallons of gas as well. Have seen lots of furniture businesses and salons like the one called “Dis and Dat” or the one with a picture of Fu Man Chu and the warning, “This could be you.”

Liberia has some oddities that I would like to understand. I ate at a Korean restaurant managed by an Indian. I had Chinese style stir fried chicken except that it was served in tahini for $10, which I paid in US currency.  My colleague had ramen complete with Korean style pickles. Aren’t we in Liberia?

Day 5

I’m out in Nimba county where I’m staying in the town of Ghanta. Ghanta is referred to as the “city that never sleeps” and is probably one of the shadiest places I’ve ever been in my life. It’s a border town and so therefore the intersection of all sorts of trade- legal and illegal. One of our out of school youth focus groups illustrates how rough life is in this place. We learned that young people spend a lot of their time in risky places. Here are some direct quotes “Clubs start as early as 13…age is not the limit money is” “Youth especially females spend a lot of time in motels for commercial sex” “Youth spend a lot of time in the ghetto with bad guys…and drugs and alcohol.”  These are the types of pervasive activities around this place.

The hotel here is sufficient, but still shady. On the first night my colleague found a multi-colored braid made of hair next to her bed and a mouse was in her suitcase. One the second night we heard loud yelling as we approached the hotel. The manager reported that there was a presidential candidate staying at the hotel and a mob of people had come to demand money. They were standing outside his door yelling. Unfortunately for us, we were to be moved to the rooms adjacent to this mess; that is the so called VIP side of the hotel. After the angry group left another group starting their round of yelling. This time it was in the name of God and a group was shouting “hallelujah” late into the night.

As we were driving the beat up dirt roads that barely connect Nimba county, we saw a brigade of UNHCR vehicles carrying refugees from the temporary camps on the border to more permanent camps in town.

In addition to the various UN organizations (UNHCR, UNFPA, UNICAEF, UNDP, UNMIL) there are in fact, NGOs all around despite the small size of this country. Liberia has a population of 3.6 million people, so one can imagine the size of a town. In the baseline study that we are using, Nimba has 3,000 people. Just driving around I saw signs for CARE, Save the Children, Norwegian Refugee Council, Education Development Center, IRC, and ACDI/VOCA with Project Concern International. There are probably more, but I just didn’t see them. After 14 years of civil war, NGOs are able to begin development projects as opposed to relief work. With 5 years of peace, Liberia is still very fragile and scars of such a long war take time to heal. One scar is the depletion of human capital. Even the literacy of teachers is low no doubt due to weak education to begin with coupled with little opportunities for learning. So one can imagine the education available to Liberia’s next generation. I also noticed the physical appearance of children. Food shortages and years of living through the annual “lean or hunger time” has impeded their mental and physical development thereby causing permanent damage to their future ability to learn and stunting their growth. I don’t have any first hand evidence, but know that war leaves considerable emotional trauma. Ex-combatants must live among society and people suffered death, rape, kidnapping, killing and any number of tragedies for many years. These traumas will certainly materialize more and more as Liberia maintains its peace.  With so much work and a population in such need I can see why there are so many NGOs operating in such a small space. At the same time, as much as I believe in true grassroots development work, my mind begins to wonder whether just giving people cash and building infrastructure wouldn’t be the way to go instead. In general I believe dumping donations on a population only creates dependency. But in places where people are in such poverty, perhaps donating the right resources would be of help.

I compare Nigeria and Liberia since being in Nigeria is my other experience in West Africa. I think that the poverty in Liberia is more pervasive and deeper. So it’s not surprising that in my experience Nigerians have a higher level of literacy and numeracy. However, Liberians seem to have more hope. (Not that I can generalize about an entire population after 1 month in Nigeria and 2 weeks in Liberia).  I remember thinking that the poverty in Nigeria was especially depressing. Liberia is worse off, but at least Liberians have hope. They believe there is a better future and they are excited about it and willing to put in effort to get. I think this makes a huge difference in my ability to encourage and be encouraged and to motivate and be motivated.

How could a blog of mine be complete without paying tribute to food? There are a couple of popular dishes in Nimba. GB is a mildly spicy and slimy soup with fish and meat that is eaten with pounded cassava (similar to fufu). You take a small piece of the cassava and roll in it in your right hand. You then make a small indentation in cassava and dip it in the soup. You’re not supposed to chew, just swallow. We sat outside the office and shared a bowl. I found it really strange to swallow and my mind could barely stop my mouth from chewing as soon as a piece of food entered it. Plus I had to predict how much I would be able to swallow. The Liberian staff had a good laugh when they saw how big a swallow I intended to feed myself. Rice is also a major staple here. One meal includes a huge portion of rice (probably 3 cups) that is served with pepper soup. Pepper soup is a spicy soup served with veggies and chunks of odd looking beef. I say odd because I cut into one piece and it was black inside. I had some of this, but could not finish the entire portion of rice or soup. The rice was too much, and my mind was influencing my taste buds so that I felt really disgusted eating the meat. I felt bad knowing that there were literally people starving in this country and here I was sending back a half-eaten portion of food. Later, I wanted to go to the market to capture some images we could possibly use designing training materials. While there I discovered live snails that were being sold! I hate to say this about anyone’s food, but they looked disgusting- slimy, black, and crawling all over each other in a hot and dirty heap. I don’t think I’m ready for that.

The main concern for me about food here is not so much taste, but cleanliness. The dishes are sort of swished in a bucket of dirty-ish water to get clean, and everyone eats with their hands. Looking back I don’t know how I ate in the field so much in Bolivia. But after a while I didn’t mind it. In fact there were some dishes that I looked forward to eating such as llama meat that was dehydrated and then fried served with a hardboiled egg, potatoes and salty cheese in the Altiplano and fresh chicken with rice in the valley. I also like drinking soda when out in the field.

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