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Basic Needs Challenge - Day 1

FOOD

This morning I prepared 3 cups of cooked rice each for my husband and son (who is adamant about doing this challenge with us!) before heading off to work. When I looked at their tiny bowls of rice, meant to last an entire day, my mind switched gears.

As a mother, I felt terrible. As a wife, I felt guilty.

So I did what many mothers and wives do when faced with similar circumstances: I put my family’s needs first. I scooped out large spoonfuls from my own portion to bulk up their bowls, and then quietly slipped out the door.

On the way to work I couldn’t help but think of the millions of women around the world who went hungry today in order to feed their families. Particularly the women in South Sudan who left a little extra for their children before quietly slipping out the door of their tukul to work in the hot sun all day. Women who never complain about being hungry because they would rather take on that burden than have their child feel it.

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On my way to work I planned my strategy for getting through the day. Having my entire food ration fit in the palm of my hand made me consider things differently. Do I eat a few tablespoons when I get hungry? Would 3 small-sized meals be more filling? Or would it be better to wait and consume it all at once?

These are all things I’ve never had to think about. Ever.

I know this is only a 3-day challenge, and I know my lessons will never even come close to the reality in South Sudan, but already I am grateful. I am grateful for a fridge full of fruits and vegetables. I am grateful my children go to school and can concentrate on learning because they’ve had a nutritious breakfast. I am grateful I don’t have to watch someone I love die of starvation.

This challenge is all about gaining a little bit of perspective for the real life challenges people in ‪#‎SouthSudan‬ have to endure on a daily basis.

Thank you to everyone who has joined this experience with me. If you aren’t able to join us, please share our challenge with your friends and family.

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