Oi! I’m Isabela, a nutrition student from Brazil. I am on exchange program studying on UBC and I will be working with The Planted Network over the summer as part of my academic program, so you will be hearing a lot from me. One of my first experiences with Planted was to visit a community kitchen. As I was walking to get to my destination I wasn´t quite sure what I would find. I had searched the internet and read that the Hobbit House was supported by The First Baptist Church and that it was located in downtown Vancouver.
When you are walking through the chaotic downtown, you might not even notice that somewhere on Nelson street there is a house in the middle of all those buildings. And you might not notice the open door inviting people to enter, always welcoming.
Well, that was exactly what I did: I walked in and I met Patsy, the coordinator of the Community Kitchen of Hobbit House. She gladly explained to me that she was the only one there at that time and that people tend to show up later on the day especially on sunny spring days. She presented me the menu of the day: chicken enchiladas, roasted vegetables, mango, apple and cranberry coleslaw and for desert a mango and blueberry cobbler with ice-cream.
So I started participating with the preparation as people started to arrive. One by one I was introduced to people. I realized the kitchen was pretty full and everyone was involved in the cooking. It was a great experience: learning from others. I even learned how to properly fold an enchilada, since one of the participants had already worked on a restaurant and had a lot of practice with Mexican food. An hour later after people started to arrive, everything was set and we had an amazing meal made by all of us.
It surprised me, as I was expecting some kind of community meal prepared and served to the ones in need. After talking with people there I discovered that that is what happens in the close by First Baptist Church in Vancouver, and that they feed up to 150 people every Tuesday, but in that place, the Hobbit House, it was all about cooking together, no hosts no guests, just everyone talking, making connections with people and then enjoying this meal that everyone contributed to. A great and unique experience indeed!