It has been a pretty zooy week around here,
culminating, last evening, in the dinner for JYC and SYC Staff before they all
left to drive down to Cedar Lodge for the Pre Camp happening today. After the
Commissioning Service this afternoon the SYC Staff will move over to Camp
Livingstone and both Staffs will gear up for the arrival of the Campers,
But let’s recap the week-
Last Sunday approx. 25 SYC Staff (and 3
small Staff children) descended on the house for a full day of training. I was the
official cook and served breakfast, lunch, and an afternoon snack to the hungry
crowd in between their times of worship and workshops; meanwhile attempting to
avoid various important Lego structures, small wooden cars, stuffed animals
etc.! Over lunchtime Jessica nobly joined me for a couple of hours, which was a
huge help, especially with all the washing up. 

Monday my attention turned to preparing for
the Team Leaders Evaluation Meeting (TLEM). This annual event took place
Tuesday afternoon starting at 3pm, with dinner @ 6 followed by a DC Committee
meeting that ended around 8.

There were 14 of us for dinner that night and we
said good-bye to Sarah, who is stepping down from the committee, and welcomed 2
returning members- Christopher and Janice. Unfortunately Mikaela, who is also
stepping down, was unable to join us as she was working that evening.

Wednesday I finished up a ton of
outstanding office work, made a big batch of dog food and got through a bunch
of other chores before welcoming Amudha, who came in the late afternoon to avail
herself of some of my artist’s supplies needed for a SYC Game she had been
tasked with creating. Amudha is a former Team Member and now on staff at SYC,
about to start university! We enjoyed a Chinese meal of Ma Po Tofu followed by
my new fave- ORGANIC, homemade BUBBLE TEA!!!! (I use coconut milk, mango orange
jelly “bubbles”, extra mango juice, Jasmine Tea and whipped cream, YUM

Thursday preparations began in earnest for
last night’s giant dinner (there were over 30 people including 7 small children,
After first getting the lawns mowed, I
began thawing the huge containers of Vegetable Curry, which Jessica and I had
cooked and frozen last week, made vat of fruited iced Darjeeling Tea and also
thawed the Naan Bread.
In the evening I  set up the whole
dining room for this mega-meal.

Of course yesterday was manic, right from
the get-go.
In the morning I squeezed in office work
and helped the JYC Directors by printing and collating some of their Cabin
Devotions and by noon Mark (Co-Director of SYC) had arrived and starting
unloading SYC supplies into the garage. Alana (JYC Co-Director) dropped by in
the early afternoon with a last minute staff member who needed to fill out a
police check and once that was done Wil and I squeezed in his walk before
Janice and Matthew arrived for a quick (Bubble Tea
J) visit!  Right after Camp Janice is moving to Toronto to serve at York University as an IVCF Staff Worker , so this was the only chance to have a little visit with her and her
boyfriend as they will be leaving by train on the Tuesday after Camp.
Of course as we were attempting to visit
other staff members started to arrive, laden with their gear and by 545pm Mark
declared that we should begin serving dinner.
Thankfully the predicted thunderstorm held
off so almost everyone chose to eat outside on the main deck. They all seemed
to enjoy the curry, Naan, iced tea and dessert of homemade orange/lime ice

Of course there were mountains of dishes
but Joanne (the SYC Pre-camp Worship Leader) immediately jumped in and started
helping me, as did several others, while the rest of the staff packed cars and
vans with luggage and supplies.  In the
house other willing helpers put away the clean dishes, put furniture back in
place, and made sure that all small people visited the “facilities” before the
long drive ahead!
By 730pm as I was sweeping the deck and
bringing cushions inside before the impending storm, they had formed a big
circle at the foot of the driveway for final notices and prayers for a safe
Soon they were waving goodbye and shouting
their thanks to me as the got into the vehicles, suddenly all was quiet
I’m sure the neighbours were mystified by
the whole event, but then they can rarely figure out what goes on around here
And so today I’m laundering all the dinner
napkins and preparing to write 14 prayer letters, which will be part of the
very large pile of items I shall be taking when I visit both Camps next
I had thought the next few days with
everyone away would be fairly quiet. HA!! All sorts of things are going to be
happening, but that story can wait
for the next post!

Well before I head off to make 14
notecards, everyone has asked for last night’s  veggie curry recipe. It is an old one out of
my Mum’s handwritten cookbook.  I like to
serve it with Naan rather than rice.
Indonesian Vegetable Curry

½ cup canola oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 cans pineapple chunks, or one small fresh
pineapple, cubed
1 can plum tomatoes, diced
2 medium onions, sliced
4 small zucchini, in ¼” slices
1 large red pepper, diced
1½ lbs. sweet potatoes, in 1” cubes
1tsp.each chilli powder & ground
½ tsp. each ground cardamom, fenugreek, and
3 Tbsps. water
1¼ cups vegetable stock
2 medium bananas, sliced
½ cup coconut milk
Sauté the onions, garlic, zucchini, sweet
potato and red pepper in the oil for 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and pineapple
and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the aromatics with
the water to make a smooth paste then stir into the pot. Add the veg. stock,
bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the
sweet potatoes are just cooked. Stir in the sliced bananas and coconut milk and
warm through.

Serves 6