Welcome to camp number two! Well this camp went a bit differently than I expected it to. For starters, after some experimenting, and discovering that I wasn’t most qualified to be a Ukrainian speaking group leader, I was given the task of being the camp chef! (Say hello to Chef Oxie!)
So me and my parter in crime (Aliona), spent a good chunk of our time in the kitchen (as well as the rest of our kitchen crew; Evelyn, Vyvy, Angela, Vik, and Sara), which generally means- no photos! (I know, bummer right). By the way, we discovered that we have some skilled chefs on our team, which has been making it extremely difficult to lose weight! (Big fat thank you to the best kitchen crew ever. Also, shout out to the fellas for washing the dishes after almost every meal!)
Nonetheless, being in the kitchen taught me a whole lot this week too! I’ll start with what I like to call:
My First Bad Meal!
Okay, so it didn’t actually taste bad- it ended up tasting pretty good- but the final result wasn’t at all what it was supposed to be. This is how it was supposed to look like.
Aliona and I, being the awesome chefs that we are, decided to combine both her recipe and mine- that was mistake number one!
My recipe required that the peppers be stuffed with half cooked rice and then they would cook through in the oven, while hers required that the peppers be thoroughly cooked on the stove and then put in the oven to then get the crispiness. Long story short, the rice took about 2 hours to cook through all the way! Mistake two- relying on a 25 year old oven to cook your rice for you!
That oven stressed me out so badly! After an hour of waiting and total confusion as to why the rice wasn’t cooking, Aliona and I LITERALLY went outside to pray! Because at this point there were several things we began to realize:
- If we screw up this meal, we can’t go out to eat because THERE IS NO FAST FOOD RESTAURANT anywhere near us! No place to go eat. Back in California, you mess up a meal, you go to In-n-Out and you’re good to go! Nope! Not here.
- If we don’t fix this, no one is eating!… and it’s all going to be our fault. (Rumor had it that Americans don’t know how to cook because we all have our own personal chef and maid. Smh. Ridiculous stereotypes!)
- You can’t really cook anything else, because 1.) you’ve used all the produce, and 2.) dinner should have started about 30 minutes ago.
- I finally understand why being a housewife is so common in Ukraine- cooking and cleaning is legitimately a full time job!
This whole scenario is especially embarrassing because, as a chef’s’ daughter, you’d think you’d get these things right by now! And while all of this was happening, the kitchen was flooded due to a busted pipe in the washer (yes, their washer is conveniently placed in the kitchen- story for another time). So you can only imagine how hectic it was for us in there.
Anywho, we prayed, and after another dreadful hour of waiting (and deciding to use the stove instead of the oven), the rice finally cooked through (and actually, one batch over-cooked so badly that we had to give it to the chickens) and the laundry stopped gushing out loads of water (props to Mark and Inna for getting that flood taken care of). But thank God it worked out! No one starved to death, and the earth just continued with its natural orbit!
As for Aliona and me, we skipped dinner that day due to an appetite ruined by stress. And we both learned how absolutely fortunate and blessed we are to live in the convenience of all that America has to offer (like properly working stoves, laundry rooms, and restaurants)! And we also learned that ministry isn’t always preaching and connecting with people- sometimes it means scrubbing floors and feeding your team. Serving one another is just as much of a ministry as anything else!
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The Laundry Story
Okay, so real quick. Yes, they do have washers here, but they don’t have dryers! You have to air dry your clothes, which isn’t all that bad except for that surprise rain on what happened to be my laundry day (had to dry my clothes indoors that day, but whatever). Anywho, so all the water pipes are connected. And I guess what must’ve happened is that too much pressure was put on the pipes and the water started freaking out (maybe someone flushed, and showered, and washed dishes, and did laundry all at once- I’m not exactly sure).
What happened was the water wouldn’t turn off once the laundry was done. And when you open the laundry, a bunch of water kept coming out! You’re probably thinking, “Just close it!”, right? Wrong- because your clothes are in the washer- and they’ve been in there all day because this is the second time this happened today! Except this time, the water from the bathrooms was coming to the laundry. Yey! Which really means that your clothes (actually, it was Mark’s clothes) have been marinating in flushed pee and poop water all day! Yeyyyyyy!! Which also means, that the kitchen floor is completely contaminated with pee and poop water! YEYY! Which ALSO means that you just spent a good two hours cleaning pee and poop water off of the floors with your hands!! YEYYYYY!! (It’s safe to say that it was just one of those days!) Me, Evelyn, Vyvy, and Angela spent our morning cleaning the first flood incident, and Mark and Inna spent the second half of the day cleaning the second incident! You can only imagine the smell in there- oh, and don’t forget that all the while, we were also cooking our famous stuffed peppers! Yup! Smelled delicious!
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Dear America, I miss you and your amazing technology!
“”Truly I tell you, that whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sister of mine, you also do for me.'” Matthew 25:40 (NIV)