Operation Refugee Day 2

Day 2 of eating refugee rations was a lovely sunny Saturday…

Conveniently my 9am web-meeting was cancelled so I stayed in bed until 10, reading and catching up with friends’ news and their videos of travel adventures etc. So lovely not to be rushing off anywhere.

We had a late breakfast, same thing as yesterday but not quite as tasty. Rice with cinnamon. It overflowed – again- you have to be quite observant cooking rice, beans etc. This is now the third pot of something that has overflowed causing a mess to clean up later, and we’re only on day 2! Thankfully none of our precious rations have been burned or wasted though! I’m noticing a change, where before if something drops on the floor or spills on the range, I’d just throw it out, but now I’m rescuing it all! When we have plenty we so easily throw things away.

Late Breakfast

Lunch prep started not long after breakfast. I had soaked chickpeas the night before so rinsed these and then cooked them. Into the food processor they went with juice of a whole lemon and a bit of salt. To make it a nice consistency I added some of the cooking liquid from the chickpeas. Because we each raised $400+ we get to add a serving of greens and a lemon (x2) to our rations. So we used one lemon today. Garlic is not part of our rations so it was garlic-less hummus but still surprisingly delicious!


To go with the hummus I started making flatbread. First time in months for me to be having white flour anything as I’m normally wheat free. I followed a recipe we got in our Operation Refugee Kete. Other participants have been doing this for breakfast but it’s quite time consuming so didn’t seem like a good breakfast solution for us. First I made the dough and kneaded it. Then I divided it into 6 portions and let it rest for 30 minutes. Then I rolled each out into a random shape, rested these for 30 minutes. Then I heated oil in a hot pan and fried the bread. Ants and I ate the bread in the sun, some brushed with oil & Moroccan spice mix, others with the hummus. It was all delicious!!

Making Flatbread

Lunch in the sun!

While I was underway with lunch prep, I got dinner ready too! I put into a dish 4 cups of cooked rice and 2 cups of chickpeas that I’d cooked. We earned a tomato each for both making $300 but because we didn’t have any tomatoes and they are so expensive in winter I used some chopped tomatoes, about 1/3 of a can. I put the tomatoes, some water, Moroccan spice mix and salt into the dish and gave it a stir. All ready to be baked later on. There was enough for 2 meals, i.e. dinner and a lunch for both of us. I still have a little lentil soup left over from yesterday’s lunch but it wasn’t very appetising… It might be sitting in the fridge until more desperate times.


7pm rolled around and neither of us were hungry at all. I’d even survived a visit to a friend who was making dinner while we chatted- a delicious looking carrot and beetroot salad with pumpkin seeds… and whilst it looked divine I was actually not hungry or feeling sorry for myself. Our lunch had exceeded expectations! Had I not pre-prepared our dinner I think we probably would have skipped it. As it was we didn’t bother baking it in the oven. We heated up relatively small portions in the microwave and ate them before friends came round for Games Night #2! It was quite tasty and I don’t mind having this again tomorrow.

Games Night #2

Andrea is the inspiration for me doing Operation Refugee this year as she did it last year and I heard about it through her. I’ve known her and Rory since Dunedin student days but we have hardly seen each other since. Thanks to Facebook we are still in touch. Andrea and family moved to Timaru 5 1/2 years ago. Although it’s only 1 hour down the road we had not yet managed to catch up. Last time I saw her was I think in Waikite hot pools when I was road-tripping around the north island with Maya and they lived in Rotorua, that was around Dec 2010.  Was lovely having Andrea, Rory and their boys up for games night especially this weekend. They brought with them a game new to us, Thurn & Taxis, a German game a little reminiscent of Ticket to Ride, yet different. I liked it a lot.

Andrea 🙂

The Big News

Today we reached our fundraising target of $1500. Thanks to all those who contributed to this!! We then set a new target of $2000 and promised that if we reach it we will sleep in a tent for the rest of Operation Refugee. I didn’t expect we’d get that close, but suddenly donations have come flooding in! We’ll no doubt be getting the tent out tomorrow! Eek. It is currently below zero degrees outside (as can be expected in the middle of winter) and I’m sitting listening to the fire burn feeling its heat on my back, loving it. I’m grateful for all those who have sponsored us but also kind of happy that tonight we are $102 short of a night in a tent!

But bring on the money tomorrow people… let’s show Syrian refugees we care. Sponsor us here.



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