Mark Povey - Ration packs

Running time
3 min 2 sec
Department of Veterans' Affairs


we used to go down to the seaport once a week to get our food. So we could go down and get meat, veggies. The meat we used give to a kitchen from a company who would do it, cook our evening meal for us. When we first got there, we didn't have a chef. After awhile, we got a corporal from the army would come over and he would cook dinner every night for us. But yeah, we'd go down and get, we could go and get beef and chicken, get fresh fruit, fresh vegetables.

Our Somali workers would bring in fresh bananas off the plantations on the way to work. We had a barbecue every Sunday. Of course, you know, we would invite other contingents to come and have a feed. We would feed our Somali workers. We had got bread delivered every day. There was a small little bakery somewhere in Mogadishu that was making bread, not like we would know bread back here in Australia but small rolls and small loaves so that we had fresh bread every day. No fresh milk. It was all UHT milk. We just had to do with what we could with what fruit fresh fruit and vegetables we got and what fresh and frozen meat we got. R

ation packs. We would use ration packs, if we were out on the road and depending how long, we always had bottled water in the vehicle. And you would swap ration packs between each country. The Americans have pretty good ration packs. We got some Italian ration packs, they had little tetra packets of white wine in them. Malaysian ration packs. So you would swap and change and try each other's ration packs. In my opinion, the best ration packs were the Americans.

We flew to a place called Beledweyne to get some vehicles to the UN. The American ration packs just sat in the pocket of our cams had a slate that you put water on, put your meal on and the water reacted with this tablet and heated your meal up. And you know we're in the African bush having spaghetti with meatballs and there was no hexamine tablets and it was great.

So so we we rarely ate ration packs, but when we did have to go out and do a job we made sure we had the American ration packs with us because they made a decent meal...they always had in their packs, always had m&ms. They had Twinkie bars, bars or chocolate. Our ration packs had bars of chocolate but when you open an American ration pack and you see m&ms and Twinkies, it's like it was like Christmas Day all over again.

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