Hola, como estas?
Carlos and Argentina, the soy chef for this morning, swing by the hotel to pick us up this morning. We are headed to an elementary school who receives Textured Soy Protein that can be used in their school meals. We bring in all our ingredients to the school kitchen and start getting set up in anticipation of the more than twenty parents, daycare workers and some representatives from humanitarian organizations who will be joining us for a hands on Cooking with Soy workshop. The kitchen is a buzz and dozens of the school children rush to the kitchen door to find out who we are and what we're doing here.
Once the women arrived, it didn't take them long for them to get out the bowls, spoons and roll up their sleeves and start combining the ingredients for enchiladas, pastelitos and huevos picados con chirzo. They love to cook and are very interested in getting recipes that use the TSP. Argentina was calm despite the chaos of twenty women cooking together. As the delcious smells started drifting out to the school's courtyard, the children came running back into the kitchen to check out our progress.
The water source comes from a spigot in the courtyard and we carry it in using large plastic bowls. The principal stops by to say hello and shoo the kids back to class. The plant manager from Cargill joins us to meet everyone and taste test our recipes. The children carry small plastic baggies filled with Coca Cola which they sip from a straw. All are wearing school uniforms. Many want to meet us and talk with us. Some want to touch my hair.
The kitchen just hums with activity and the cooks spice up their dishes with a little more chili powder, dried peppers and salt. The food is plentiful and delicious. The women are excited to get the recipes and take them home to make for their families. There's no copier at the school, so Claudia, a twelve year old, takes me to the local market that has a copier. It's about eight blocks through a residental area to get to the store which is a family run convenience food shop. The streets are dirt and rocks and along the way we see street dogs, women hanging out their laundry and old men sitting around small fires. The people are so welcoming and friendly. They want to talk with me, but I must say "yo Espanol un poco solamente". Claudia wants to stop by her house on the way back, so I can meet her mother. I meet her mother, two sisters and brother and have a chance to see her home. It is my first upclose view of poverty and I am astounded.
We rush back with the recipes and pack up quickly as we have another workshop this afternoon at the CEPUDO kitchen. It's been an awesome morning. The workshop went well. The TSP was a big hit and we're off to visit the headquarters of CEPUDO and set up for the next workshop.
Que pase un bien dia,