Monday, 19 April 2010

National Volunteer Week

Mid-April is National Volunteer Week here in Canada, and my organization usually participates in two different ways. First, we join our central volunteer organization at an Info Fair in a local mall.

It's always fun trying to devise an eye-catching display as well as come up with a gimmick of some kind to draw potential volunteers to our booth, especially when there are 50 or 60 other booths in the mall also trying to do the same thing! This year, I took my button jar to the mall. Lots of great conversations ... "My Mom used to have a button jar!" ... "My gran kept her buttons in a cookie tin!" ... although guesses were WAY off. There were actually 3,311 buttons in the jar. Yes, I dumped it out and counted every blessed one before taking the jar down there! I had no idea my button jar was so well endowed.

The second way my organization participates in this annual week is by hosting a lunch for our own volunteers. Despite our limited budget, we always try to do something fun. This year we enjoyed entertainment by a drama troupe from one of our local seniors' activity centres. Oh my, I laughed so hard! However, I can't begin to do justice to their skits by describing them ... it was one of those "you had to be there" things!

The best part of our volunteer lunch was having our volunteers introduce themselves and tell everyone a little bit about WHAT they do for us, HOW LONG they have been volunteering for us, and WHY they volunteer for us. I was really touched by the diversity ... seniors, students, mentally handicapped adults, new immigrants, housewives, businessmen ... all pulling together to make our community a better place for seniors. Reminded me yet again why I love my job, even if 12 hours at a booth in the mall makes for a very long day!

Miss Boots, naturally, was not too impressed with her hu-mom coming home after 9 pm. Her dinner time is 6 pm!

No time for our evening play time when the hu-mom gets home that late! Consequently, she was on serious play time overdrive Saturday morning ... and made my morning Chai and newspaper routine impossible! I would have been annoyed, but knew I had to be gone most of Saturday in order to set up and clean up for our volunteer lunch. However, Miss Boots and I spent quality time together Sunday (yesterday) to make up for it, so all is forgiven!

It was a busy week and busy weekend, but I managed to finish reading a great book ...... The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. This story is based on real people and events, young Sarah Carrier and the Salem witch trials in the late 1690s, and is written by a descendant of young Sarah. Sarah's mother, Martha, was arrested and hung as a witch and for a time, young Sarah was incarcerated under the same charges. The language is picturesque, the story fast-paced and attention-grabbing, and the realization that fellow human beings are still hated or imprisoned or killed because some group or another objects to their "different-ness" keeps screaming from the pages. If you are remotely concerned about women's issues or human rights, READ THIS BOOK!

This book ...... Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani ... caught my eye in the bookstore in the mall. I LOVE Indian food! And I love cook books ... what a perfect combo! Each section of this cookbook is subdivided into four geographical regions of India with explanations of the overall food and lifestyle, methods of cooking, and common ingredients including spices for each region. Most ingredients listed are available in the ethnic foods section of any major Canadian grocery store. The photography ... both regional and culinary ... is superb, and the author has included lots of personal and family snippets about different dishes and customs. I can hardly wait to start taste-testing, and have an interesting grocery list to take to the grocery store after work tonight!

Have a great week, y'all!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So your making me indian food next weekend? L.