April 1, 2013

Oregon - Day 4

Today I got to sleep in!.

Angel left earlier in the morning to go to work with her aunt who is a 1st grader teacher (Angel had considered being a teacher so this was a great opportunity for her!).

I went with Pat to the local food bank.
What's a food bank? you might think.
A food bank is basically a place where homeless people can come and get food - For free!

We went to this little two-floor house where different churches come together to help the homeless. Today, upstairs, they could go and have an entire meal served by the Catholics (I think) and eat as much as they could!
Downstairs is where I was!
The people working there were all elders that came there because they wanted to - Not because they get paid :)
Down there they had a kind of supermarket where the homeless people could go through and pick whatever they wanted (given that they didn't take more than one pack of bread etc.) while being supervised by the volunteers (Earlier they've had people take too much, that's why).
My mission was to cut flour! Cut flour? The heck did she smoke?
No seriously, I cut flour! Flour packs!
Later I rationed the bread they got. Bread? The local stores will bring their 1 day old bread (That nobody buys even though it's still good) and others will donate stuff as canned food. Privates also donate toilet stuff such as toothpaste, toilet paper, etc.

It was a strange experience to see so many people, many with kids, come like that. They were all really nice though and inside the waiting room, the spirits were high!
The old people were all interested in me (and were surprised of how much I could carry granted my size), asked a lot of questions, and gave me a bunch of advice that I should remember when going through my life (like typical grandparents).

I had a really nice time there... I really felt like I had helped people that day. I may only have cut flour and packed food... but it's more than the average person will spend their weekend on.
Earlier, I've sent packages with clothes and food to my friends in the Philippines when the tsunami hit them... or donated to Africa. Both money and clothes, but I never get to see where it ends. Honestly, I don't believe the things we send to those places get distributed fairly, and that's why I don't believe in donating stuff like that anymore.
If I'm going to spend time and help people, I want to make sure that the people I want to help.. actually will be helped! (And that the "upper people" don't just keep it to themselves).
That's why I liked today. I actually got to see people appreciate what we did for them. I saw them smile and, to me, that is the greatest reward.

"Thank you! I'm glad to see you're smiling. Keep that smile!" one of them said as Pat and I left.
After that, Pat and I drove to the school to pick up Angel where after we drove to up to my hostfather's cabin that his best friend currently lives in.

Some pictures I snatched on the way:

Such a Western city... 

Oregon is completely different from California! They've got loads more trees! But they lack palm trees :( I like palm trees...
Angel had warned me that people in Portland would be weird, but I never knew they'd call themselves that o: 
 On the way we stopped on top of this hill where you got the most stunning view!
A little closer

The cabin was this small little wooden house in the middle of... well not nowhere, but it was pretty far out! The entire place was surrounded by trees and the roads were small and consisting of dirt and little pebbles.

 There were skins from the animals my hostfather had shot, hanging on the walls.

A nice little place. Perfect for the man who's tired of the city and just want to spend some time in touch with nature. 

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