Every two years there is a Bible translation conference. People come from around the world to this center, and there are a lot of presentations about different issues in Bible translation. The campus is crowded for several days.
But, it cost some money to go, and I knew that I probably would not feel up to sitting in more lectures after this session of classes. So, I opted not to go.
I decided to volunteer at the dining center instead. The dining center typically serves a small group of students and staff. But, during the translation conference, they need to feed probably three times as many people as usual. In short, they really needed volunteers.
When I arrived at the dining center, somebody put an apron on me. I started with bagging sandwiches. We were making about 100 boxes with a sandwich, chips, a cookie, and a piece of fruit. Besides the boxed lunch, people could choose to go through the hot food line. I helped cut up potatoes and bread to serve at that. We also set out pieces of cake on plates for the hot food line.
As the people flooded in, I was washing dishes with somebody else. There were three huge sinks. The guy washed the dish in the first sink. Then, I rinsed it in the second, and sanitized it in the third. Some of the dishes were huge and took up a lot of counter space, so I was trying to dry the dishes and put them away.
At about 1:30, I was really tired, so I went back to my room to sleep for a while. But, at 4:00, I had to go back to help with supper. I had baked some cookies in the morning, and in the evening, I wrapped them in plastic wrap. People kept walking by with huge trays of food and bumping into me, so I was trying to stay out of the way.
Somehow, I got volunteered to help scoop vegetables for people in the hot food line. I had the job of handing the person the plate too, so I received most of the credit for the work done by other people. Of the approximately 100 people that went by, I only recognized about 3. Most students opted to eat their own food because students who live on the guest house on campus only get free meals on week days. So, the people in the dining hall were strangers to me. We had to keep calling back into the kitchen for somebody to bring out more food for us to serve.
I realized dishing up plates is not my strong suit. It was hard for me to keep smiling and saying, "You're welcome" to people. I feel more comfortable in the back doing the dishes.