There ALWAYS seems to be a new experience just around the corner for we gluten free eaters. For our family– a big one is coming. The four of us are going on a mission trip to Haiti in March!
We are doing an inter-generational trip with our church through WorldWide Village in mid March. So right now we are in the preparation stage. My husband has already gone once through the same organization and had a great experience.
For many, this stage entails finalizing the projects we will work on, fundraising and more. But for our group, there is one added detail: maintaining a gluten free diet for a week in a third world country.
So far we have met with Pat and Randy Mortenson, the people in charge at WorldWide Village, to get on the same page as to what a gluten free diet means and why it is important. In my view there are things that are great about the trip for Emma’s gluten free needs, and things that concern me (as would concern anyone with celiac or their lovable helicopter parent):
In our favor:
- Very few processed foods
- Lots of fruit and rice
- Our group supports being gluten free all week
- Organizers say they won’t have bread in the house all week
- Lots of people say they understand gluten free and really don’t (this is not a slam on WWV, just a reality that we all have experienced at one time or another. And you don’t know how it will end up until you are faced with it)
- Haitian ladies cook for us during the day when we are out in the field doing our work (so this helicopter mom will have less of a chance at hovering)
- The cooks may have gluten free ingredients but could still accidentally contaminate the food with gluten. (But since WWV is decreasing the amount of gluten in the house, this may be less apt to happen)
The good news is that I am less apprehensive about the the food situation than I was a few weeks ago. Before I met Pat and Randy, I was more nervous. I still worry that my role could end up being chief gluten free chef because, for whatever reason, the meals aren’t working out. I want both Emma and I to go and be able to focus on the mission work and not worry about the food like everyone else.
You will be able to watch it unfold right here on my website. If Haiti is a cause that is close to you, we also are fundraising for the projects we are working on: we will be building a house, a pen for donkeys, some soccer nets, plus we’ll need supplies for crafts we will be doing with the kids! You can donate online here: http://worldwidevillage.org/donate-now/ Scroll down to “Mission Teams & Interns”. Fill in an amount for MISSION TEAMS (not INTERNS) and put “Leger” in the box with the red asterisk.
See other posts about the now completed mission trip: