I never thought much about butter. Salt either, for that matter. I personally have never really enjoyed much of either on anything. However, moving to Samoa forced the topic of these additives into my brain. From my first buttered tuna sandwich in the training village to the countless lunches consisting of crackers layered in butter, it is something I have come to expect, and even enjoy, in small quantities. Namely, I enjoy some butter on toast in the morning, or maybe a little with my pancakes when I am treating myself to a nice breakfast in town. The Anchor butter used here and imported from New Zealand is actually so good that I have joked with other volunteers about visiting the butter factory when we are in New Zealand. This morning, however, reminded me of how outrageous the butter situation in this country has become.
It was the first day of school so naturally we were doing nothing but watching the kids pick weeds from the grass and rocks surrounding the school. After watching the kids weed for about 30 minutes it was time to retire for morning tea. I watched in horror as 5 loaves of bread were carefully sliced for the 10 teachers in the room. While one teacher was cutting the bread, another was busy mixing together a concoction of raspberry jam and what looked like a cake of butter. She had scooped the butter into an old ice cream carton and was busy whisking together the butter with the jelly until it looked exactly like what it was destined to be in the near future: pure cholesterol. I could not hold back my laughter as I was served four huge sandwiches of butter and flavor on thick slabs of white bread. To top off the whole experience, the one serving the food this morning was my identified counterpart in our health project, which is meant to kick off next week and focuses on reducing fats such as butter in our diets. I smiled, laughed, and ate one sandwich for good measure before passing the rest off to the other hungry teachers. All of the sandwiches were gone within a half hour. I know one thing for sure: I am going to have my hands full with this health project!