(March 25, 2017)
Sometimes that is good, because I’m sure out of my comfort zone. My heart is beating rapidly and my hands feel sweaty as I mentally go over all the preparations for our pancake breakfast. Success or failure is the question as anxiety and fear surface.
This is our first fundraising event at “Place of Hope” in Cotacachi, Ecuador. A pancake breakfast with all the trimmings is underway with all our volunteers. We serve from 55 to 65 elderly poor people a breakfast every Monday through Friday. Sad to say, for some this is the only meal of the day, and many walk from one to two hours for this meal.
The grills are fired up, the kitchen is jumping with volunteers and our two indigenous workers are preparing fresh fruit, juice and coffee to be served with the pancakes, bacon, and sausages. The band, “TIME”, has arrived ahead of schedule and is setting up under a tent for protection from our equator sun.
So much is at stake – success is a ‘must’ or we would be forced to close our doors on these unfortunate people.
My mind was jumping around like a scampering rabbit: do we have enough food and drink, or too much? As I stood at the gate, our guests started to arrive – ticket in hand. My heart fluttered, and as the line of people increased I knew that all would be fine.
Our servers, all volunteers, were ready to serve a buffet breakfast. The guests received their pancakes and sausages with a choice of syrups made with bananas or fresh blueberries, prepared early that morning. A fresh fruit cup and juice along with coffee rounded out the breakfast.
As they headed for their tables, the band began performing – a wonderful special surprise for our guests. John Trainor, the drummer and head of the band “TIME”, was ready with five Ecuadorian and Indigenous musicians. Classical music, Greek, Spanish and even a bit of the Oldies were enthusiastically played and enjoyed. The music was outstanding, and some people got up to dance. The sun was quite strong so it was difficult to dance for very long. Next year we will have tent covers over the tables.
A raffle table was laden with some great gifts – paintings from a local artist, food baskets, handmade items and a luncheon certificate from the famous La Mirage – a 5-Star Spa and restaurant known throughout the world.
We served over 120 people between 10:00AM and 12:30PM. As I mingled with the crowd, the comments were so positive that we will make this an annual event. It was a great time with people asking if we would do this again next year. Yes – it was profitable, and we can provide food for the next few months.
With sighs of relief and joy we were ready to clean and clear the area to be ready for the next breakfast to feed our poor people.
As I pondered over this beautiful day, the following words from Dan Millman: “The Way of the Peaceful Warrior” came to mind:
“Lose your self-importance and adopt a strategy of unreasonable happiness ” (and I add: by serving humanity.)
Watch Joel Kaplan’s wonderful video of the Pancake Breakfast.
Click to view.
Founder of Ecuador Project Hope
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