I have a pretty extreme, verging on problematic, obsession with food. The majority of my concerns coming here revolved around food. What would it be like? How would I cope with rice at every meal? What size would the portions be? Would I starve?

 Luckily for me, the food here is better than I could have imagined. Yes, we pretty much eat rice at every meal, but our cooks are incredible. A normal meal consists of a mound of rice, and something cooked with oil and spices – usually a mix of veggies, beans, or eggs. After every meal we have a banana for dessert. The inexplicable rice-with-fries-on-top meal makes quite a regular appearance for breakfast. We also have pasta every now and then.

Sometimes the cooks deviate from their regular menu rotation and surprise us with things like chocolate cake for breakfast, stuffed capsicums, papaya, peanut butter and rice, or homemade mayonnaise on actual bread!

Teeny bananas – they’re so much yummier here!

If you get in quick enough in the morning, there’s flasks of hot water and coffee. Otherwise, our main drink is called Ranopango. Basically, you burn rice in the bottom of a pan, then add water and boil it. No one can explain why this ends up tasting so good, it just does.

As most of you know, I can eat an impressive (read disturbing) amount of food, so despite getting three amazing meals a day, I also eat a lot of snacks. When we need snacks for the field, we usually buy packaged biscuits, or fried breads/cakes/donuts called mofo.

A selection of mofo – the doughnut balls are my favourite.

There’s also shop called Joseph’s which is right on the border of KAFS, and sells all sorts of things like flan, pain au chocolat, pizza and once even wedding cake!  Sometimes our guides also surprise us with fruits like cacao and jackfruit which are absolutely delicious.

A snack haul from Joseph’s – banana cake, pain au chocolat, chocolate, and pommegranite juice
Jackfruit – I could eat these all day, every day.

There are certain foods I definitely miss. Mainly cheese. But never fear, on our last reporting weekend I ordered a cheesy pizza with extra cheese to get my month’s worth!

The cheesy pizza!
A meal in Mananjary – looked and tasted suspiciously like 2 minute noodles…
Spag bol in Fianarantsoa – trip highlight