We have come to the end of our Gambian diet. Exact amount saved to be calculated yet, but it is roughly $200 as predicted. We have eaten mostly rice and bread we baked from the wheat we bought in bulk this year. We had a few very good meals that we will most certainly make again. We have learned some valuable lessons as a family;
>We can live on less
>We eat way more than we actually need to
>We have amazing kids
>Our lifestyle isn't as socially conscious as we thought
>Instant gratification isn't nearly as satisfying as endurance
>Flavor is less important to nourishment than family
>ANYBODY can adjust a little bit to make room in their life for generosity.
Levi was frustrated on Tues night when we went to a potluck and there were very few things on the menu that fit our criteria. It seems flavor is directly related to our enjoyment of social events. We talked it out and he came to realize that we were so close to the end that he would be very disappointed if he gave up now. He really wanted some dessert, and fried perogies with sour cream and bacon bits, but he wanted to finish our commitment more. I think it was an awesome lesson about the downside to instant gratification. In our culture we so often sacrifice end goals for pleasure right now. It was awesome to have an opportunity to so clearly learn that together.
It's not just that the kids learned these things. I have always known I am an emotional eater, but these last two weeks have really been a revelation to me. I run instantly to food to ease discomfort and hurt. I had to deliberately choose other ways to handle stress and hurt. I have prayed more and read more and shared with my husband more than normal these last two weeks. Not surprisingly, I have found that the effects of these comforts far outlast double fudge ice cream. I have probably lost a couple pounds too! :)
All in all, I am grateful for husband's ridiculous, hair-brained ideas. At their worst, they force me to grow in character and patience. At their best, they take our whole family on adventures that stretch us, teach us and unite us in new ways.
We will post some recipes as well as the official math soon. It's been a very busy week so it may not be until next week.