I’m a foodie, and the food was always something I was worried about before coming - being told it was rice and beans for lunch and dinner does give you doubts. Having packed a variety of spices and armed myself with sauces to add some flavour (if the worst was true), I was pleasantly surprised with my first meal on base.
Generally, there are three meals on base which we rotate for lunch and dinner. These meals are rice and beans, stir fry, and tomato pasta. My favourite (by far) is the rice and beans, because we add peas, corn, onion, garlic and occasionally fresh veg like courgettes – and, of course, the famous garlic pepper hot sauce is a necessity. It’s pretty tasty!
Everyone chips in the help cook, however there are always the natural cooks who lead, and those who tend to vanish when it’s time to start making dinner… (like Savannah who learnt to chop an onion in her second week here!) However, even the best cooks on base have their moments. One of these highlights was when Zac seemed unable to make egg fried rice, as it rapidly turned into something similar to rice pudding/mash potato/an omelette! However, you quickly learn that presentation is not key, and as long as it tastes of something you will eat anything!
Most days on base revolve around food, cooking it, eating it, or talking about it. A popular topic of conversation late at night out on the dock is the food we miss from home - for us Brits that’s fish and chips, a Sunday roast, crumble and cheese boards; for the Americans, it’s TGI Fridays. Another thing we do is prepare our first meal as soon as we get back to base, which is usually a hard decision as no-one has managed to decide yet.
Food on South Island is another story - budgeting my money for the weekend to eat is key as on South Island you can eat so cheaply! If you manage to find the local places, you could eat well for an entire day on under 20 Belize dollars. From nachos at sports bars, to sabutes at the anchor, to burritos the size of your arm from the world wide famous burrito lady; it’s all incredible. These past few weeks I have been eating my way through the island, but I’m still making my way down the never-ending food bucket list I’m told is a must. I might have to ask for an extension for my seat belt on the flight home...