Week 4

Today was a pretty great day in the kitchen. I burned myself twice and had a little mishap with the knife (I’m shocked it took this long) but overall it was a good day! And on the bright side, assuming that bad things come in threes, I should be safe for the rest of the week! Anyway, we managed to get a lot done today. We processed and blanched 2 flats of zucchini to be frozen for use throughout the year (Get excited Emily!!!), made the world’s largest batch of turkey-zucchini-kale-tomato-corn stew, put together some pretty tasty looking Meals on Wheels, and filled and delivered bags of food for local families. Our regular volunteers who come in on Mondays and Wednesdays were a big help and I’m really happy with how things have been going. One frustration I do have though, is that the donations we receive have been very heavily skewed toward desserts lately. I want to be able to give out complete, healthy, and tasty meals but its hard to do that when half of the fridge is filled with cakes, cookies, and cinnamon rolls. We gave a lot of the desserts we couldn’t use to the Food Pantry so at least they will still be used. I also feel like we could be helping a lot more families based on the current level of donations we have been receiving. We have contacted a local shelter about maybe providing a weekly dinner for the residents for the summer, and they seemed receptive, but then they never responded to our offer so that’s a little disappointing…

So immediately after I typed that last sentence, I stood up to get my power cord and promptly cracked my head against my ceiling. Really. Hard. Apparently my theory about not having any more dumb accidents for the week was not accurate. At that point I decided the Universe was telling me to go to bed, so now I’m finishing this post 2 days later. I’m no longer so frustrated by our dessert to non-dessert ratio becuase we gave a lot to the food pantry and got some more non-dessert donations that have made things easier. We also found out that we should be getting a hose for our vegetable garden at the senior center this week, and we got permission to put in a ‘garden on wheels’. A lot of things are starting to come together! We’re trying to include some 4th of July cheer in our bags for families today, which basically means pasta salad, desserts with red and blue sprinkles that were donated by Beevia Farms (If you ever get a chance to buy some of her stuff at a farmer’s market DO IT. She’s amazing.) and some raspberry jam we made yesterday.

LIU has been really coming together too. I made some grammar handouts for class last night (thanks for the last-minute corrections Mo) We talked about what types of themes the students want to focus on in class since we only have 5 more weeks. It’s sad that we have to try and cram so much into so little time because of the funding cuts, but everyone seems to be making the most of it. The themes that were brought up included phrases and vocab needed for doctors appointments, the dentist, job interviews, talking to teachers/administrators at their children’s schools, how to talk to the police if you get pulled over, how to ask for help finding things in a store, and even how to express what you want when you’re getting a haircut. This really made me realize just how frustrating life can be if you don’t speak the dominant language in a country. One man mentioned how he was shopping for shoes with his son, the boy found a pair that he really liked and that was on sale, but when they got up to the register the shoes ended up costing twice as much because of sales restrictions that they didn’t understand. I feel more like I know what I can do to help out in classes which is a relief, so I’m excited to get started on making some more classroom materials. I can’t believe our time in Gettysburg is already halfway over, but I think the next half should be really awesome.

I think that’s about it… Life in the house has been good (We miss you Yaou!) A lot of us went to the Gettysburg Firemen’s Carnival and the lake last weekend. Today is bbq day so that should be fun. Happy 4th of July!! I hope all you Nicaragua and Kenya people have a good non-traditional 4th of July 🙂

Melanie

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