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Lisa’s Birthday Dinner – Bcos Sharing Makes Us Feel Rich

“肚子餓嗎?我買你們吃飯!(literally meaning: Are you hungry? I’ll buy you lunch!)” Lisa asked in Mandarin (she’d spent a couple of years in China before this) after we returned to Pana from our sharing session in Santiago.

And so we headed to one of Lisa’s favorite eateries for lunch together:

Somehow, food tastes better when enjoyed with friends

Somehow, food tastes better when enjoyed with friends

There were many-a-times
We frustrate ourselves at the mercado
Haggling over 1 or 2 Quetzals
For lettuce, carrots, bananas, eggs, you-name-it

1 Quetzal is 0.20 SGD
Do we really have to act like bitchy calculative “Aunties” over 1Q?
Does every trip to the market have to feel like a war?

Yet think about it
1Q per item. 10Qs for 10 items. That’s 2SGD.
Per market trip

Plus
The money we’re spending isn’t really ours
Every single cent – a gift, a donation
Which makes us really careful about spending

We will admit that there have been times
We question ourselves
“Are we spending too much money…on food?”
We wonder between ourselves
“Where is the money for our meals for the next month going to come from?”

And every
Every. Single. Time.
We have those worries

Someone would offer to buy us a meal.
Someone would offer to cook us a meal.
Someone would offer to share with us, their family meals.
And a donation would come in, ever so timely.

Why. We’ve never gone hungry on this journey. Ever.
Why. We’ve always gotten what we need. When we need it.

For the above reasons, we keep sharing – 
Our stories, our presence, our learnings, our everything… and yes, you got it
And even our food

It was Lisa’s birthday that weekend; we know that she’s alone in Guatemala without her family, and wanted to share something with her to celebrate her birthday. So we asked our Couchsurfing family, Helga (who introduced Lisa to us) if we could cook dinner and have a surprise birthday dinner for her. Helga agreed and even offered to bake the cake! 🙂

We went to the market early that morning 8AM to get fresh ingredients; and begun our preparations right after we got back…

Menú del Día:

    • Ah Ma’s Curry w/ award-winning chilli sauce
    • 辣雞 w/o 辣 (it’s Lisa’s favorite dish when she was in China)
    • SG-style Fried Bee Hoon
    • Helga’s home-baked Birthday Cake (surprise!)

Award-winning Chilli Sauce

Homemade Coconut Milk

Ah-Ma's Curry

Stir-fry Chicken with Peanut

After long day of work in the kitchen

After long day of work in the kitchen

“Every time we step into the kitchen to prepare a meal for people; I feel like the same young girl who stepped into my Grandma’s kitchen who started learning how to cook with a butter knife and leftover veggie stems, I hear my Grandma’s wisdom from the kitchen during my growing-up years when she’s cooking hot soup to nurse her little girl’s broken heart, I feel the reverence towards every single ingredient put into the pot as a traveler who has learnt to appreciate home-cooked food… and I realised – I’m not just sharing food, I’m sharing bits and pieces of my life, flavours and spices of my soul. During the toughest years in my growing-up period, my Grandma always made sure that there is a bowl of hot soup waiting for me at home. And when I share my Grandma’s recipes, I hope our guests taste a familiarity… the familiarity that brings comfort, that brings a knowing, just like how I know at the very least, there’s a bowl of hot soup waiting for me at home – and that makes (almost) everything ok.” – Val

Our guests waited in anticipatory glee

Our guests waited in anticipatory glee

Happy Birthday Lisa!

Happy Birthday Lisa!

Wine n Cake, anyone?

Wine n Cake, anyone?

Wonderful Night, Wonderful Company

Wonderful Night, Wonderful Company

“I am always grateful that I have enough money to buy ingredients to cook for the people that are special to us. I am always grateful that I have the culinary skills to whip up hometown dishes that they have never tasted before. To have something to offer is empowering. I may not own a single item that I am using right now; I may not even have a savings reserve; heck, I don’t have much, if anything at all… but I am rich because I am able to share.”Tay

Help us share one more story –
Your spare change, even if it’s just $1, will go a long way

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