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So… as some of you know, I’m working with @madebymany and @goodfornothing on 50/50 Make or Break, and I’m spending at least 50 days eating famine aid rations only in exchange for your generous donations to UNICEF. Click here to give, please.

During the last 16+ days, I have had to work late on an empty stomach at least 4x, go out to a business dinner at a Korean restaurant (soju included) and just look at the food & drink, and generally be very creative and frugal with my rice or cous cous portions to ensure I don’t have to go through long periods of time without something to eat.

This saturday, though, was probably the most difficult one. We met at a childhood friend’s house to spend the afternoon together.  When at the supermarket early in the morning to get “ration supplies” (cous cous, whole rice, unsweetened soy), I came across some dehydrated Porcini mushrooms and arborio rice… and decided that I wanted to cook for my wife and friends. I love cooking, and it helps me relax… or so I thought!

The hard part came when the first 2oz of vegetable stock went into the semi-fried arborio rice with garlic and olive oil. After about 2 minutes, the smell was intoxicating (at least it seemed like that to me). I don’t know if you remember the “Pinknic” episode of the Pink Panther –but that’s how I felt. I was close to cutting out a fish drawing from a magazine and cooking it to eat it🙂

Pinknic: By this point in time, this is more or less how I'm starting to feel –looking at the calendar and seeing how long it will be until I have a decent meal

If you don’t remember the Pink Panther, or this episode in particular –please don’t make me feel old in the comments, and just watch here:

So, anyway –here I am, working late again on a pitch for a global campaign. At no point in thinking of the Fat Planner project, did I stop to think that a career in (M)Advertising might conflict with putting myself through this. Sure, there are hardships involved, but the people in Somalia unfortunately don’t have the luxury of deciding when their hunger ends.

Most people I know think I’m a bit crazy, yet I do this from the safety of my western living, and the certainty that if I run out of food, I’m a supermarket run away from what would seem like infinite food supplies in eastern Africa. Even my famine aid ration equivalent is purchased in a supermarket, and I have the luxury of choosing between cous cous, bulgur, rice (of many kinds) and whether I want to eat lentils, beans, soy beans, etc.

I could go into how insane wealth distribution, and the general selfishness in the west causes all of this, but I won’t. I will just ask you to put your money where my mouth is, and give a little so we can help improve the situation in Africa –even if just by a little.

You can click on the orange 50/50 logo at the top of the sidebar on the left, or just click here to go straight to UNICEF-handled payments. Even the smallest donation helps.

Thanks. And keep that porcini mushroom risotto away from me!!  ;)
P.S. I included the Pink Panther video as a joke, and not as an attempt to profit or abuse any copyright owners. All rights and copyright belong to the original owners. I wish I spoke legalese.