Saturday, May 4, 2013

Live Below The Line 2013 - Starvation & Malnutrition Awareness

ehem.. Tom Hiddleston with a Guinean child.

Hey guys! Once again,I apologize for having a blog post hiatus, life has gotten the better of me and I barely have any time for updates! Then again,here I am with an update unlike any other,a one-week deed I committed, that made me feel so good inside I'd probably levitate with joy if that's even possible! Are you guys familiar with the Live Below The Line campaign by UNICEF? If you're not,I don't blame you simply because I too have just recently discovered it,all thanks to Rachel,Amanda and Kay Lee. This might be a little fangirly, but we thank Tom Hiddleston (Loki from The Avengers) for indirectly introducing us to this lovely campaign.He's a high profile supporter of the said campaign whereby he visited Guinean families on one of the UNICEF missions in Africa and couldn't help but notice the overwhelming number of children starving and suffering from malnutrition.

The campaign catch : For 5 days (29th April - 3rd May), campaign supporters are challenged to only spend a maximum of 1 Euro (equivalent to RM5) for food and drinks to commemorate people from third world countries who suffer from malnutrition and starvation.

The four of us : Rachel,Amanda, Kay Lee and myself decided to take up the challenge. To be perfectly honest,it was a huge thing for me considering the fact that I'm a picky eater and eating below usual budget (or rather,living below the line,if you must) is not really something I'd do on a normal basis, also with the fact that it's near to impossible to be having a healthy meal on campus with such low budget.

Day 1 - I actually planned the meal on the night prior to the first day of the challenge,so it wasn't as bad as expected. This was a plate of nasi lemak from Mbuji Cafe that cost me RM2.50,half of the limit. It's pretty decent for its price,although somehow,for the first time ever,I cleaned the plate due to mental hunger. It was a challenge considering the fact other people are having 'better food'.

Day 2 - RM2 popcorn from the vending machine and RM2.10 cup noodles. RM4.10 'lunch' in total.I wasn't proud of the total amount considering the fact I almost exceeded the limit. However, I managed to un-guilt my conscience with the excuse that our class schedule was tight and it's almost near to impossible to grab a quick lunch. (okay,so we actually had to rush to watch Iron Man 3 on IMAX 3D and ice skate)

Ice skating with Nawwar :3

Had this in class,treated the lab session like a movie lol

Day 3 - it was Labour day and I had food at home. Food choice was out of my control, and to be honest I actually broke the rule by having seafood. That called for a compensation meal out of guilt.

Day 4 - RM3.90 jumping spaghetti (basically just spaghetti with salt,pepper and one chicken sausage) from the food court. No pictures.

Day 5 - Chocolate chip cookies from Subway for lunch,which cost around RM3.

I wasn't really proud of myself yesterday considering I bailed from the challenge earlier than expected by having the following meal for dinner with Kaylee in Spaghetti Grill,Paradigm when we went for another round of Iron Man 3 with Rachel,TK,Amanda & Will .

RM29.95 grilled steak and cheese with peppercorn spaghetti and sauteed veggie T.T
Just as I was thinking of another compensation meal,I found out that there was an electrical power cut-off in my area; I slept the whole night with my family in darkness. Luckily it rained,so it was relatively cold in the house. In a sense,it compensated for the high cost dinner I had considering the "no electricity" experience is also another issue faced due to poverty. 

The Compensation Meal, for day 3. *drum roll*

Homecooked chilli padi fried rice with omelette :) an estimation of RM3.50-RM4 for the day. It's against the norm for me to be having eggs,but again,I'd like to emphasize, it's all for a good cause.

All-in-all, despite the rule-breaking and compensation, I've learnt a lot from this.

1. Limited food makes me appreciate food more, and realize the importance of not leaving any leftovers on the plate,because every grain of rice,every piece of meat/egg/veggie, every tiny drop of gravy, contributes to extinguishing hunger and producing energy as well as contributing to the sustaining of life.

2. The importance of sharing, because sometimes in times of desperation, sharing helps reduce the burden.

3. No electricity gave me an introspective moment to unwind,and escape technology to look deeper into the meanings of life - there are things we often overlook and forget to appreciate, like having a roof to seek shelter with from the heavy rain,having a comfy bed to snuggle in when the day gets too cold and lamps to light the night.

4. Questioning what tomorrow brings - living below the line, we had ourselves questioning "what should we eat tomorrow? how will we survive? what else is there?" Taylor's is not the best place to save up on lunch or any meals at all. At the very least,we still do have a hope for tomorrow, what about those suffering from poverty? Do they have the same fate? Will they still be alive tomorrow? Do they even have a future to look forward to?

5. Resisting temptations - they are all around us. Eating cheap food and resisting 'the good stuff' I usually have for lunch make me realize how hard it is for us as human beings to break the habit and have a sense of self-control. It was hard seeing TK eating creamy pasta in front of me while I'm only having a low cost nasi lemak,knowing clearly which food I prefer. I know for sure that I wasn't the only one.

We tend to complain about food all the time,overlooking the fact that we should be thankful we have food at all,there are people out there (not just in the third world countries) who have to make do with anything edible that's not even a proper meal to begin with,lest they'd die of starvation. Malnutrition rate is high,and this realization is a major eye-opener for each and every one of us.

I felt good,really. I'm looking at the world in a new light. I'm thankful for what I have,and I couldn't ask for more. Alhamdulillah,I am fortunate.