Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Airianna Beitler shares her experience of cooking for our great, big Casa San Salvador community. She delves into the importance of food for her and the significance of being able to share this with others.

Food is very important to how people express themselves and their cultures. You can guess that this is equally important within a community full of people who are from different cultures, backgrounds and individual tastes. Food can bring a piece of home and who we are to our community. When we came to the Casa, all we really knew about the food we were going to eat was that we would all cook for each other (and that there were some dietary restrictions). So this caused some anxiety for a lot of us and we weren’t sure how it would go.

While I can only explain what cooking and this experience means to me, I know that it is just a small window into our community that means a lot to us in this house. For me, cooking is how I show I care for those around me. I couldn’t wait to start cooking, that was  until I heard what our dietary restrictions were and how many people we were going to cook for. I was so concerned that I didn’t know how to cook for them that I went to my mom and she posted this to give me ideas and help alleviate the worry I had for this challenge.

Our cooking has had only a few ruff patches along the way, though we got better as the year has gone on. There were only a few meals we had that I can remember weren’t all that great. Through these meals we have grown together and shared many occasions. We have celebrated holidays, engagements, birthdays, commissioning and many more of life’s moments. It has brought our community close together and given us many memories that we will continue to carry with us to the end. We all have grown in many ways through our days here– be it spiritual, professional, or personal skills including growth in our cooking skills. We have had so many different meals and I would like to share just a small piece of the yummy food that we have had. With half the program year left, I can’t wait to see what else we share with each other.

Reflection: How does sharing meals bring you closer to those around you?