day five – LBTL

It’s the last day! Whoohoo!

In other good news, I reached my fundraising goal (although if you’re still interested in fundraising, you are most welcome, and the link is here. Otherwise, you can donate to one or two of my friends who are also living below the line this week: Roberta or Miranda. Miranda’s going for two weeks on less than $2 a day AND no furniture. You go girl!)

Plus, Live Below the Line Australia raised over one million dollars in total for anti-poverty initiatives in East Timor, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and in our very own country (since when were we the ones who needed help? More on that one later.)

Okay, so I think a recap of my week is in order. Here we go:

What I had to start out with:

750g pumpkin @ $1.98/kg = $1.48

Approx. 1.4kg potatoes = $1 at the fruit and veg market on the discounted table

Approx. 1.2kg tomatoes, approx 1/4 of which was mouldy by the time I got to it = $1, see potatoes

Approx. 1.4 kg of assorted nashis and I think they were royal gala apples = $1, see tomatoes

200 homebrand teabags = $1.99

500g large spiral pasta = $0.59

1 small head garlic = $0.49

1kg homebrand plain flour = $0.95

250g homebrand salted butter = $1.41

Total = $9.91

Day 1

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea $0.02

Pumpkin and potato soup with flatbread, x2 = $1.70

Total = $1.92

Woke up late-ish, made soup and flatbread to take to work. Worked five hours, then took my soup to a TEAR group meeting, where two other people were also living below the line. We had much discussion on war and poverty, and didn’t really get anywhere with the hard stuff, just that it’s hard and we have to keep thinking about it and working out better ways to live and work for a better world.

Day 2

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea = $0.02

Pumpkin and potato soup with flatbread = $0.85

Pasta with potato and pumpkin = $0.38

Total = $1.45

Woke up at 5.30 in the am to go to uni. Not recommended when you aren’t eating as much as you usually do, because I felt like crap pretty much the entire day. Not so much hungry as my stomach was getting used to having different things, and less than usual. Drank lots of water, because it helped wash the bile down that kept coming up. Not a great day overall.

Day 3

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea = $0.02

Pasta with potato and pumpkin = $0.38

Potato and pumpkin soup with flatbread = $.85

Flatbread, munched on during the day = $0.14

Total = $1.59

Went to uni again today. I actually felt much better today, got some fresh air on my walks to and from the train station. My friends kept offering to let me cheat, but I held my ground. Ah, hot chocolate. We meet again soon! Also had some really interesting conversations with my classmates. One of my friends was arguing that we should be grateful for our position in life and be thankful for what God’s given us. I said that it doesn’ t count as God’s gift if we took it from other people. God made us all to be equal and we’re not living that way.

Day 4

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups tea = $0.02

Tomato soup with flatbread, x2 = $1.28

Total = $1.50

Worked again today. Noticed much more than Monday my proximity to food. So glad that in two days, I get to drink coffee again. Also noticed I was more crotchety than usual. Either the lack of food/sugar or the constant reminders of my privilege were getting to me. gah! One day to go. Huge uplifting feeling when I saw that I’d reached my fundraising goal. Again, you guys are awesome!

Day 5

Stewed apples and pears = $0.20

2 cups black tea = $0.02

Pasta with pumpkin and potato, x2 = $0.76

Total = $0.98

Woke up at 5.30am again. And again, not a good idea. I almost puked on the train, and I don’t even have that much to puke! I’m really, really glad that as of tomorrow I get to put sugar and milk back in my tea. Sorry, Mum, black tea just doesn’t do it for me. I’m studying now and kinda wanting a snack but you can do this erin, pull through, one more day. It’ll be interesting to see how I go tonight; I have a birthday party! It’ll be fun regardless of the food situation, though.

I have to say, I’m already thinking about next year, how I can go better, fundraise more, change my lifestyle so that it’s not just geared around one time a year where I remember the 1.4 billion people living below the extreme poverty line but that it’s  a part of the direction of my life and my vision.

I want to thank each and every one of you, my readers, for sticking with me through this. I know a lot of you personally; I don’t know all of you but I really appreciate it. A special shout-out to everyone who donated. You guys are incredible!

day four – LBTL

So I know I’ve been banging on about this a lot, but, well, it is kinda my life at the moment. But hey, just so that you don’t think that a) I’m a raging b*tch or b) I’m superhuman, yes, it’s hard. And so I thought I’d answer a few questions that people have been asking me about Living Below the Line.

What do you miss the most?

Coffee. Followed closely by sweets and sweet snacks. It’s just being able to eat whenever I want. I can’t because I have to save it for the next meal.

What’s the hardest thing about it?

You know, I’d originally thought that working around food as I do would be the hardest and it is hard. Especially today when we had cake scraps to pick from, and it’s day four and I really just want to eat cake. And I’m sick (getting over a cold) and that’s been pretty difficult too. Early days for uni, wanting to curl up and go back to sleep. But the hardest thing – harder than no coffee, early mornings, no snacking, no flavour – is that every single time I think to myself  ‘man, I just want a cup of coffee’ or ‘Can I just cheat? just a little?’ there’s this voice in my head that goes ‘Suck it. You know that there are 1.4 billion people who have to do this every day, with even less food because they have to spend their money on other stuff as well.’ The hardest thing is not being able to feel sorry for myself, and then realising how good I have it, how spoiled I really am.

What’s the best thing about it?

Fundraising! All the amazing people who have donated, thank you. All the amazing people who are about to donate, all you have to do is click here! No, kidding. I REACHED MY FUNDRAISING GOAL! YAY! And it’s all for an amazing cause – to help people get out of the cycle of poverty. Education is really good. Be grateful for your education! Utilise your education! Don’t skip class or nap during lectures! It doesn’t take much to make me grateful, sure. Just a week of hunger, longing and beating up on myself.

One day to go!

Tomato Soup

This isn’t a concrete recipe. Just take some tomatoes.

Slice them in half.

Roast them for about half an hour.

Put them in a blender.

Cover them with water. Add a little bit of butter.

Blend.

Eat with yesterday’s flatbread, dreaming of a better world.

living below the line

For the next five days, I will be living below the extreme poverty line for my food. This means I will be living on $2 a day.

I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but now that it’s imminent, I’m freaking out just a little bit. I’ve got all my food together, my meal plan done up, my total figure totalled. I’m freaking out a little, to tell you the truth.

I will be eating a LOT of potatoes. They were on special at the fruit and veg market, so I have over three kilos of them.  I have lentils. I have tomatoes and I have some apples and pears that I’ll be stewing up for my breakfast, as well as the flat bread I’ll be making with my kilo of flour and butter.

I have teabags, so at least I won’t be without my caffeine. So no, my house mates won’t kill me. Yay! On the other hand, I couldn’t afford milk, or sugar, so that’ll be an experience. Mum, I know you like black tea, but I’ve never really gotten into it. Maybe this week I’ll develop a taste for it! Could do worse I suppose.

Freaking out a little… or, a lot… I don’t know how I’ll go on this food this week. I don’t know whether I’ll get super run down from lack of protein or lack of calcium. I’m hoping it’s ok if I forage, though. We have a veggie garden. At least I got given some mint a little while ago, so I can have peppermint tea.

SO my list of ingredients this week is:

Potatoes

Tomatoes

Apples

Pears

Lentils

Flour

Butter

Pumpkin

Garlic

Teabags

I’m kinda scared. But I’m also pumped. Pumped to raise awareness of poverty issues, pumped to raise money for people in real need, not in fake I-wish-I-had-a-pair-of-designer-jeans (or shoes, or socks, or whatever else… yes, I’m talking about myself here.) Pumped to do something, even this small thing.

So again: here is the link to donate to my live below the line campaign; it also includes some info about where the money will be going.

Please donate, and if you don’t, please at least read about it. And maybe when you’re done, check out how high you are on the global rich list. You might be surprised.