Charity, Fundraiser

Ration challenge day-2: Digging Deep, Licking Plates and the Community Spirit

First of all, the funding info: #RationChallengeUK, @ConcernUK. Here is the link to the donations: Subhadeep’s Ration Challenge UK 2021

After yesterday’s dismal start, where I overestimated my endurance to hunger, the second day was about staying vigilant and dig deep. I also was slightly nervous about working in half-empty (or half-full) stomach and functioning. The day went well and it brings into perspective the power of community spirit in difficult times.

Today I had breakfast. Normally I never eat breakfast but I had leftover rice from yesterday, with one tablespoon of my priceless chickpea stir-fry. It stopped me feeling hungry during the morning hours and I went through my work without missing food. For lunch, it was rice, lentils and chickpeas again. There is a slight difference, I had salt! I’ll talk about that in later sections. For dinner, I made the kidney beans curry — virtually same recipe as the chickpeas but boiled less and with added salt. I should have put more spice there as it’s not as spicy as the chickpea stir-fry. I didn’t feel hungry as such today, until now. I have lentils, chickpea and kidney beans that I expect to last until Friday. I have some more lentils left, so I’ve day i might make kedgeree. The 1.5kg rice token is still untouched and so is the 400g flour voucher.

From yesterday’s desperation I think I’ve managed the diet better today. I had to make sure that no ingredient is wasted. So I even used the water from the kidney beans tin into the curry so not to waste any nutritional value. I licked my plate clean, during all three meals and I’m not ashamed to admit. I’ve done it in the past when I liked the food. But this time, it was about a psychological uplifting thinking I’m tasting something long after the food was eaten. I have drank plenty of water and apart from seeing a lot, I don’t feel much difference. In fact I felt this is the right amount I should be drinking and I drank much less before. The only thing I longed for throughout the day was some nibbles between the meals. Also, having eaten the dinner at 5:30, I was hungry again at 10PM. I had two tablespoons of lentil and one teaspoon of chickpea stir-fry. I have a plan for nibbles and I might try some tomorrow using some of the flour, saving the rest for another batch or make nibbles with flour and only relying on rice for main meals.

The final thought of the day was about community spirit in hard times. Doing the challenge on my own where I hadn’t managed to find any sponsor let alone sign anyone up, I felt dejected and disheartened, thinking all other participants must be doing great and met their targets easily. My feelings didn’t change until I found and subscribed to the RationChallenge Facebook group. I managed to find hundreds of people, all taking part, sharing recipes, tips, helping each other out with donations, ideas, support. One challenger gave me enough donation so I can add salt to my food, another contributed as well and now we are part of the same team. It made me think that when we fall in hard times, our community is our safety net, and perhaps the refugee families living in the camps are doing the same thing — supporting each other and sharing resources amongst them. The takers of the ration challenge and the refugees may have their lives a lightyear apart, but this week, doing this challenge made us feel connected, not just by experiencing the diet typical of inhabitants of the refugee camp but also how we stayed and worked in unison. Love and empathy towards another human being is the most beautiful thing in the world, and no hate, war, greed, malice will be able to take that away.

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