by Dongbin, Co-director, IHF Chiang Rai
It has always been a pleasure to cook for everyone at the center. From the day that I arrived I started cooking for the children and colleagues, of course with the help of some of them as well! I cannot say I am a Master Chef, but I can say that my Chinese food it’s good enough to please everybody.
We visit the market in the morning to buy fresh vegetables and meat according to a wish list made by the children. The market is big and there is many people from the tribal hills who comes to sell the most fresh and organic products. But we have our one stall where always buy from. The owners, a young, polite and kind lady and her humorous husband, already know what the children like and laugh when we bring shopping lists written in Thai. They are always kind enough to explain our shopping list and even sometimes they add some free vegetables that they know the children will enjoy.
When we start preparing the food, the children will always come over to give me a hand. We got to know each other quicker through cooking together. I can sense their appreciation when they wash up afterwards without being asked to.
I always enjoy the weekends when everyone is at the center, cleaning our home together, watching films or even just sitting around the table in the verandah chatting and laughing. Sometimes it’s us, directors and volunteers, sitting with the kids, and even just watching the children having fun chatting with each other makes me happy.
“The gentle art of gastronomy is a friendly one. It hurdles the language barrier, makes friends among civilized people, and warms the heart.” Samuel Chamberlain