Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vancouver, Day 4

Volunteer Activity #7 of 2014: Today's goal was to volunteer at the Downtown Eastside Women's Centre for their lunch service. There were lots of things that we needed to get done logistically to make this possible: pick up rental car, find parking near convention hotel to park said rental car, move donations from vendor room to rental car, get volunteers, drive to women's center, and find parking.  Whew.

When we went to pick up the donations, one of the vendors said that one of the people that donated left their cell phone in the bag of donations they brought in.  Fortunately, they remembered who that person was and I remembered what they brought so it didn't take too long to figure out which bag was theirs.  The timing was perfect because they were 5 minutes away from donating a cell phone to the women's center!

There were 2 volunteers that came with us: one from Washington state who drove up to Vancouver to do the volunteer event (but wasn't doing the convention) and one fan from Finland (?!).  Both of them were very cool.  The girl from Finland was a naval architect, which I thought was very interesting.

I was Julie's navigator to the women's center.  Like old school fold out map.  This was a challenge because there were quite a few roads that were one way, but we managed!  It was a little slow in the beginning because we were early, but once lunch service started, there was a steady stream of women from 12:30 to 2 PM, when we left.  The food today was "Temple food" which I found out meant that it was donated from a local temple.  Many of the women that came through grumbled under their breath that they "hated" temple food.  Uh oh.  Yikes.

My job was to set out sets of folks, spoons, and napkins for the women to pick up before they found a place to sit.  Everyone else helped with plate preparation and serving the food.  It was quite humbling experience to see how many women came through.  Some had children.  Some looked like they were suffering from some sort of mental illness and/or had a drug problem. 
Hah, you can see me in the window reflection on the left!
Time for dinner! Julie and I went to Commune Cafe, which was one of the places on our to-eat list (it's the only place that we actually went to on the list since we didn't have a car and were on a budget).  While we were there, I had the map out to look up how far the Science Center was from our hotel.  The waitress came by with our drinks and asked us where we were from and what brought us to Vancouver.  I mentioned that we were there for vacation and to attend the Supernatural Convention.  "Oh, really?  Do you see who's sitting on the other side of the glass?"  Oh whoa.  It was one of the cast members, Mark Sheppard. This was funny because Julie had found out about this restaurant because this actor had said many nice things about it and what a coincidence that he's here too!  He was there with one of the actresses from the show.  We decided to give him his privacy and let him be a normal person and eat dinner in peace.  I'm sure a few days of fangirls can be very exhausting.
Julie got the California sandwich.  I got the mac and cheese with the Red Lychee drink.  This worked out nicely because the lunches were 50% off at the time that we went.


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