Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Second Service, Trailer Parks, and a Day Off

A day off, finally a day off, and a bit of quiet!

I'm sat in pajamas, it's 2.30 in the afternoon, and I have the trailer to myself, total bliss.

So I haven't done the blog in a couple of days due to them being pretty hectic. Quite a bit has gone on. Did my second shift leading food service, and nailed it. We had a split pea daal, with roasted butternut squash, and cashew rice. It went down a storm in both the warehouse and on camp, with all 600 portions eaten up. Cooking for that many, in only a few pots is pretty daunting. We measure spices by eye, and instead of pinch of this, teaspoon of that, it's half bucket of this and fistfuls of that, there is a constant worry about putting in too much of one thing, and ruining lunch for 100's. So nailing the spices, and getting it right good.  It was pretty tasty, though I'm already growing weary of curry and pulses.

I've moved out of Sylvies, which is a shame, but i'm now living with the rest of the long term volunteers here in what can only be described as an exact replica of the park from Trailer Park Boys. Comforts are few and far between, so there is a constant flow of people going between each others caravans in search of a working shower/toilet/kettle/knife etc etc. Our caravan seems to be the worst of them all. The plumbing doesn't work, so no loo, shower, or sink, which means either a trip to the other side of the park, or look for a caravan closer to use. It's so rubbish it goes beyond annoying, and is just ridiculous. Still our heater works, there is ok wi-fi, and I'm not sleeping in a shed, or outside like the folks down the road. In short, it'll do.

I'm staying with 3 guys, Leo, Alex and Josh, though Josh is leaving tomorrow to head down to a camp in Serbia, via another camp in the Alps where a farmer has opened up his land and barn and has a few hundred people living there, but it's swelling by the day and they need help. One thing that amazes me is the turnover of people, some because they come for a week where they can, but also many who have adopted this as a lifestyle. They just up and go where they are needed, be that a 22 hour drive to Serbia, or Greece, or even just back to the UK to earn some money for a week before heading back out. They exist in this traveler bubble, and network, they decide one evening that there is a lift going the next day to wherever, then the next morning they are gone. Our kitchen team seems slightly more stable than some of the other teams though, which is nice. It's a mixed bag of people from all walks of life, including grandmothers, anarchists, business owners, students,  oh and hippies, plenty of goddamn hippies. Actually the one's here are pretty lovely, I think because they are actively doing something good, they are less likely to preach about good things they do, they just get on and muck in.

I haven't had much news from camp, the weather has been pretty grim though, lot's of freezing fog and rain, so I imagine it's not much fun right now, well it's not much fun at any point really, but I'm guessing it's even harder at the moment. I'm going back in on Thursday, seems like so long ago that I was last there, but i'm really looking forward to it. It will be doing hot food service, which will be nice as the curry we will be serving will be the one I make on Wednesday, so I will be able to see how well it goes down and get some feedback. The kitchen is really good at getting feedback and using it, Ugo's rice technique came from an Afghan chef in camp, and we have signs on the wall telling us what each of the cultures we are cooking for like and don't like. For example the Iraqis have very different tastes to the Afghans, who have very different tastes to the Eritrea boys. We try and make sure that we cater for each culture as often as possible, which throws an interesting twist when coming up with the menu.

Going to sign off. I have a film to watch, and a stew to cook this afternoon, plus probably another nap.

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