One of our new recipes for future classes
It's incredible to see the entire world turned upside down, and as with many organizations who work with tourism and community groups, all of our scheduled activities have been cancelled for the past two months and the foreseeable future.
Before the cancellations started coming in, we were fortunate enough to have a great beginning to the year, allowing us to continue with the rooftop kitchen renovations, all designed by me for the spaces available, including a huge kitchen island that has additional counters stored under one side for larger classes, and drawers on the other side with a stovetop for more participatory cooking around the table. We'll also be able to use this space with project participants to record cooking videos/streams, which is becoming more important during times of self-isolation and quarantine. We've also got kitchen cupboards installed on the wall, which completely transformed the space, and a counter combination with sink, baine-marie heating station and under the counter fridge. With some friends/volunteers (Jonathan, Mar and Germán), we started installing the drywall ceiling before coronavirus was the most popular internet search, and I've continued the work on my own while isolated. I'll need to acquire some materials that aren't available right now to finish the job perfectly, but it's looking very good!
I'm taking advantage of this time at home to advance all types of little project jobs/tasks that have been outstanding for months/years, so I do feel very productive. This goes beyond renovations to include new menus for future cooking classes, so that we can vary the food that's prepared and shared with neighbours (I must say that with all the money being spent on personal groceries right now, I truly appreciate the fact that the community classes allowed me and my neighbours to eat a lot of delicious food over the past years without having to create a personal budget for it). The gardens are also better organized, with new vegetables and herbs growing slowly in as much of the spaces as I could prep without access to more soil and compost (another task on my list is to get our own composting started). All of these activities (in addition to many administrative tasks organizing computer files and prepping to update the website) should also help with productivity and the general project participant experience in the future, which we are as eager as everyone to see start again.
In my next report I'll also have news on a coronavirus Giving Tuesday initiative we're in the process of organizing with a friend from Canada, to distribute healthy food and cooking experiences to up to 500 people in the coming weeks. And we also have a friend in Florida running a generous fundraiser to help us continue the outstanding rooftop and sales space renovations as soon as possible, which is a huge help as we've had to re-allocate renovation funds to pay basic services and loan installments/interest that are not eligible for any relief support at this time. In any case, we are definitely staying positive and healthy here (though I wish it were possible to do some more exercise outside), and we're looking forward to staying better prepared for what comes next!
Stay safe and talk to you soon!
In-person connections and smiles are missed
Installing drywall with German
This mask serves a double purpose now
Kitchen Island with additional counters
Kitchen island storage side
Rooftop kitchen cabinets and counters
Fruit tasting with the new island