Week 2: Festival Preparation:

Once a year, Ohda-shi hosts a large festival/fair, and it’s a tradition of the NPO that we work with to raise money by having the international volunteers cook and sell food. So the second week we were tasked with preparing for the food stands. We needed signs for every country, food (duh!), tents and cooking equipment, etc.
The japanese in charge of our program have never been to hot about me cooking (see previous posts) and thought I should make lemonade. OK. The NPO has always made Pizza, so I begged them to let me put Pizza on my sign and incorporate it as an “American” Food. Success!! I made an awesome poster, with the American flag splashed across the top, a cartoon bald eagle and statue of liberty (the latter much cutre than the former, and also not drawn by me – (not a coincidence)), but forgot to take pictures of it. Sorry!

Some of the other volunteers thought I had at easy because I had to make lemonade, while, for example, the koreans made 지지미, the Estonian potato salad, and the French girl struggled with Japanese cookware (lack of it, really) before deciding to make some fried-dough thing with applesauce. I proved them all wrong, however, when I had to squeeze 40 lemons by hand (Taira, our leader, told me that we had juicer. Sic! 뻥!. I squeezed about 7 with barehands before I got sores on my hands and fingernails, then I used latex gloves and went through 4 pairs (they always got holes, hopefully due to my strength than to the acid). Then I mixed the juice with sugar syrup (aka simple syrup) in pots and pans. The kitchen looked like a meth lab, there was so many glass vials and stuff. Not that I hang out in meth labs. Never mind.

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