30 December 2011

the price of food

So today Billy and I went on an adventure. For the first time since I arrived in Burundi, we went to the grocery stores to see what is available here and to compare prices between the three main "muzungu" stores. I wasn't brave enough to take pictures inside the shops - but don't think Meijer - think walking into a 7Eleven - that's about the right size for these stores. Most people do their shopping at the local market or buy from street kiosks. We've found it is easier to send someone else to the market for us with a shopping list - prices seems to be lower when you are local in a system as fluid as the marketplace.

So, if you are interested, here's about what things cost here in Bujumbura::

small jar of peanut butter (imported)- $5
250g butter - $3
2.5lb chicken - $16
small bag pasta (imported)- $5
regular sized tub of ice cream (imported)- $22
pineapple - $1
large bunch of bananas - $3
1kg white rice - $1
1kg risotto rice (imported) - $9
box of cornflakes (imported) $10
1.5liter (recycled) bottle of local honey - $8.50
6 limes - 50cents
1kg fresh peas - 50 cents
1kg onions - $1
coconut - $2
single cookie Twix bar (imported)- $3
bottle of Malibu (imported)- $33
1kg dry beans - 90cents
1kg potatoes -$1
1kg green beans -$1
1 large avocado- $1
jar of nutela (imported) -$9
local eggs- 19cents each
loaf of homemade bread- 60 cents
deli ham , two large sandwich slices - $5

So, obviously, we are sticking with fresh local produce we can buy (or have bought for us) at the market. Lots of rice and beans instead of going for the imported things ...
it means our meals are simple. A baked potato with a side of peas for dinner. Mango, bananas and pineapple for a breakfast plate. Often times we go out for lunch to a local restaurant. For $2 we get a big plate of beans, rice, spinach and potatoes. It fills us up so much we just eat some popcorn for dinner.

I will admit though, last night I had a dream that my dear friend, Jen, came to visit me - and she brought cheese - and I couldn't have been happier. Funny.

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