My Mandela Washington Fellowship Experience: Foodscapades 1

Omg. Not a single blog post since MAY!!!!!

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Hiii!

It has been ages, guys. Haha. I have been having so much fun just doing life and getting off social media as much as I can. I have started so many posts but for some reason have not been able to finish them. Terribly UN-inspired. It has been really great to be back home, save for the first two weeks of insane jetlag!

I tell you, I fell asleep everywhere, even on okada. In retrospect, that was too hilarious. An elderly woman screamed in Yoruba, “se o fe para’re ni?”. But, I could not help it. I had so much to get done in so little time and I was not sleeping at all. My plate was getting fuller and fuller with NYSC obligations, Fellowship duties and endlesssssss wedding to-dos (I know, I know, I still owe you that post, eh? Hehe).

 

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A few hours after arrival at Newark Liberty International Airport, NJ

 

Anyway, I had such a great time in the United States and if you know me well, you know your girl definitely explorrrrrrred the various cuisines America had to offer. So, let’s dive into the timeline and any cute story that accompanied the various meals (lol, I am trying to type fast before I run out of inspiration):

 

 

A few hours after touchdown at EWR, yo’ girl was hungry! I had lost all sense of time at this point. All I knew was, it was about 2pm and I had not eaten a thing since I got to ATL a little later than 5 am and had to catch a connecting flight to New Jersey. I was GRATEFUL to finally link up with Trisha Alexy, our University contact. I was even better when she handed the 3 of us who had arrived some cash to go find some food.

So, us three, Masego from Botswana, Nnamdi from Nigeria and I went in search of food. We saw this cute Italian spot and ordered some pasta and a strawberry drink from Wendy’s to go. Masego was having none of that. She had a salad bowl in front of her. I thought, “ebi o pa eleyi oo” (she’s not hungry o), as per the Nigerian that I am. Hmm, ma a ma j’ewe p’elu ebi yi? Ogun orun ko! (I will be eating salad with this kind of hunger, the host of heaven forbid!) We eventually left the airport about 5pm. I can just imagine if I had not had a good meal, hmm.

 

 

Hahaha, it took your girl 24 hours to crave some Naija food. A visit to the African market fixed that. I stocked up for 6 weeks, no jokes! I made a big pot of jollof spaghetti, crayfish and panla certified! 

 

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Oh Jesus! The Cup!! This place satisfied all my sweet cravings, which revolved around just one flavour of ice cream. I am that type of human. I find what works for me and STICK to it. Thank you, Veronica Moore, my peer collaborator turned big sister for life. I miss and love you. We had such good times over cups or mini bowls of maple walnut ice cream. She recommended it and I was completely sold. Nothing hurts more than remembering Veronica and I for some reason do not have a single picture together! Oh well, it just means we have to figure out another visit.

 

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Okay, this place right here. Sigh. Too many memories. From the free coffee if you made it before 8:30 am (the stairs, people, the stairs from the dorms to get here, chai, e get as e be!) to the many ceasar salad bowls with strawberry milkshakes (haha, the lady who served me soon told everyone else about me, so that once I showed up in the mornings, after I got tired of coffee in a week, they served up my order without asking), to the sandwiches and Tuesdays Grilllll! Lord, the meat was so good, I am almost in tears right now as I recall its goodness! O ne’gba gaan! Lol.

 

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Hmm! If you could see my face right now!! This was the first of manyyy meals we would have together as a class. This was served at the restaurant at the University Centre which had insane stairs, as expected. *rolls eyes*

 

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This was the welcome reception for Mandela Washington Fellows at the University President Simon’s house. Haha, I remember feeling so lost. I kept refilling my glass with lemonade and ice. I ended getting filled up from all that liquid and not the actual food! LOL.

 

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If you know, you know! Ah, I had had such a long day! My thighs hurt so bad from all that stairs climbing! All I could think about was gaari. And yes, that is a bag of washed panla. right at the edge of the picture. The way I slept after, ehn!

 

The amazing people I sat with at the welcome dinner for the Global Village 2017!

 

 

This was indeed a feast. After we had been divided into project teams and signed necessary documents such as a non-disclosure agreement, ah, o le t’obe o, the teams  went to lunch. I was feeling a bit adventurous and did not order my usual choice of spaghetti bolognese (I am boring, I know. Shoo!). Instead, I ordered something something pasta with something something tomato something:

 

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The tomato overload is all I remember. Meh, it was not all that, jare.

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I could not finish it and had it packed, sha. Later that evening, I simply tossed some baby spinach in it, sprinkled Maggi and the ever faithful yaji pepper! And chai, that sweet tomato taste was gone. I literally gobbled it down. Lol!

Thank you for reading the first edition of my foodscapades. Haha, I promise, I have even better editions coming up. As of this time, I had not started exploring the cuisine around me. I was mostly eating meals provided for breakfast or lunch and cooking my dinner. So, be sure to come back for the remaining editions!

Until then,

xoxo,

Folu

 

 

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