You’ll be eating like the locals, so what foods you’ll be eating depends on which country you’ll call home:
Eastern Europe: Common foods are potatoes, beets, different kinds of soup, chicken, bread, dumplings, cabbage and cauliflower, etc. Tea is also very popular. Plan on lots of meals served with bread, soup, and your favorite root vegetables.
Asia: Common foods are rice, chicken, pork, fish, seafood, vegetables, local fruits, curries, stir fries, and soups. Oh, and rice is a staple here. In some locations, you’ll have flatbreads served with curries filled with lots of protein-rich veggies like lentils, chickpeas, and beans.
Central America: Meals here often consist of rice and beans, fried plantains, corn tortillas, and meat like chicken or beef. Even for meals like breakfast, you’ll find a scoop of rice and beans. You’ll also run into fresh fruits like pineapple and papaya.
The Caribbean: You’ll find lots of beans, rice, pasta, tortillas, chicken, pancakes, bread, fried plantains, fruit and other foods in the Dominican Republic. Plan on running into fruits you know from home (like bananas) and others you might not recognize (like sugar apples).
Africa: Many local dishes include staples like rice, beans, pasta, plantains, pork, and fresh fruit like bananas and jackfruit.
South Pacific: You’ll have lots of fresh fruits and veggies (avocado, pineapple, raspberries, coconut, papaya, cucumber, tomato, etc) that are grown locally. Yams and other root veggies are popular, served with rice, eggs, and some proteins like chicken, beef, or fish. Lots of dishes are made with coconut milk.
Even though meals are provided, ILP volunteers are responsible for purchasing things like snacks, ice cream and other additional items you may prefer; if you incorporate a lot of fruit and fresh veggies in your diet and you’re headed to country that doesn’t eat a lot of fresh produce, feel free to add a bit into your budget to shop at a local market for that.