Volunteering every day at the soup kitchen is a great way to get to know the community and the atmosphere at the neighborhood. Last week I had a couple of great volunteering experiences, very authentic and real that made me feel very happy with my participation at the project – exactly because it made me feel like I’m getting to know the project and the neighborhood much better. In one of the days, a big truck, full of boxes of food arrived. I discovered that the cooks at the soup kitchen are a part of a cooperative which helps them buy large quantities of food for their families in discount prices. It was great to see who everyone helped each other in organizing all the food inside the kitchen. The cooks and their helpers lined spontaneously in a row, starting outside the street near the truck and going towered the room inside were they organized all the boxes. The boxes moved from one hand to another and they finished the unpacking quickly. Every one helped to unpack the truck and the cooperation between all was perfect. They all were very cheerful and happy to see that they work so good together.
A day after, there was a fire drill at the project, it was also great to take part of it and to see how amazing all the cooks and everyone else were during the drill. They helped the kids go out from the class to the street and once again I was lucky to see the perfect cooperation between all. Of course the kids relate to the drill as a game and they were so happy with the excitement of it. Maybe because the cooks and the helpers, although taking the drill seriously, were so great with the kids so the kids were just very happy to get outside for a couple of minutes. I sow how everyone at the project cares so much for the kids and it made me realize that they are in good and amazing hands that look after them so much.
These experiences made me realize how great the cooks and everyone else at the project are, so caring, so cooperative; they are all true community leaders. realizing that made my volunteering become much more authentic – I was not just helping in the kitchen, but, for a couple of weeks, I was also part of the community. And that is something you cannot experience unless you volunteer, especially in such well operated organization like Voluntario Global who makes sure to send you to great projects, were everyone take care of you like you are truly a part of the community.
And one more thing, last week I also understand how strong the women at the soup kitchen are – not physically, although you need some of that when working every day at the soup kitchen… but mentally. In their minds and heart they are so strong. They know how to join forces in a cooperative in order to organized food for themselves and their families, to manage a fire drill perfectly and to make a volunteer feel so good with his stay at the soup kitchen. You realize that when spending a couple of weeks with them at the kitchen. They are really so strong and inspiring women.
I can believe that this week my three weeks of volunteering will end, so soon… I really recommend, if you like cooking, like kids and want to experience Buenos Aires not just as a tourist, to come to the soup kitchen. If I could, I would have stayed much more than three weeks, maybe you would want too…