Now that Meron has stated a memory of her home, we decided to pry a little more.
Colleen : What did you have for food at your house?
Meron: Bread, tea, and soda
Colleen: What else?
Meron: Nothing else. Just bread, tea, and soda. Soda bad for my teeth.
Colleen: Did you have eggs?
Colleen: Were you hungry?
Meron: Yes. All the time.
Colleen and I pondered this exchange later. Meron drank a lot of soda even though she knew it was bad for her. In the US, she never asks for soda. Only water, orange juice, or milk. And she drinks a lot of water.
Our theory is there was no clean water in her village. The only things available to quench her thirst were tea (because the water is boiled), or soda (because coke and pepsi have high cleanliness standards even overseas). Bottled water was more expensive than soda. It bums us out to think that Meron was drinking all this soda, even though she knew it was not healthy, because there were so few affordable healthy alternatives.