The day began with a battle. The hostel kitchen was the field upon which the soldiers vied for territory and food, often turning against their comrades for the upper hand.
We’d forgotten--until the last minute--that we needed to pack lunches today.
Lunches packed, battle cries silenced, and wounds (on our egos) tended, we ventured out into the is-it-gonna-rain-is-it-not-oh-I-guess-it-is city of San Francisco, to La Casa de las Madres, a non-profit organization. From their website:
The mission of La Casa de las Madres is to respond to calls for help from domestic violence victims, of all ages, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We give survivors the tools to transform their lives. We seek to prevent future violence by educating the community and by redefining public perceptions about domestic violence.
After a discussion about domestic violence, the myths surrounding it, and ways to help if we find ourselves in/witness a situation, we made lunch for the few dozen women living there. Normally, allowing a dozen college-age students loose in a kitchen and asking them to make something more complicated than Cheerios or ramen noodles is a bad idea (and I say this as a college student). But we had Margot there to supervise in case we started any fires (and to carry the boiling pasta to the strainer with Tim; shoutout to both for not getting scalded). Though we did end up with an over-abundance of chopped mushrooms. I think we leveled three farms’ worth of mushrooms.
During clean-up, we had a problem. We’d cooked up some beef for the red sauce, but had a boatload of grease to clean up. Grease is tricky; you don’t want to just toss it in the sink or the garbage, because, you know, fire hazard. There were no disposable bowls or cups (they’d all been used to serve the women)...but there were gloves (idea copyright by Genevieve). Turns out, they make for pretty good disposable meat-juice packages (our vegetarian Madison was not amused).
We’d just made sure all the women were fed and were thinking about grabbing our hard-earned bagged lunches for ourselves, when they invited us to have some spaghetti.
Well, fresh spaghetti and sauce beats a squished ham sandwich any day of the week. We happily agreed, and spent the lunch talking with some truly amazing women. (Some of us gave our bagged lunches to people experiencing homelessness on the way back to the hostel, so it wouldn’t go to waste.)
After La Casa de las Madres, we had almost two hours of free time. Two hours for us to do whatever we wanted in the Bay Area, on a gorgeous day, surrounded by new people.
It was a very good nap.
And then we went to back to Glide (see previous post; it’s an organization tackling poverty and marginalization for all people) to serve dinner. Margot and Steven were reunited with their cabbages, having been cooked and spiced since being chopped. In the hour and a half we had until the doors closed, we served “five hundred something something” people (from the official report of Lauren, our student leader).
Then we had hamburgers (and veggie burgers), cooked by Tim, Madison and Ellen. Then reflection, where we reflected on domestic violence, homelessness, and the various uses of plastic gloves. Then we went to bed.
That’s it. That’s all we got. Thanks for reading. :)