7 august 2001
I'm sitting here in the Partick library in Glasgow waiting for Lea to make her way down here for her lunch break. I am tired and beat from the workcamp and traveling to Scotland. I just spent the last 45 minutes doing some e-mail and I happened to talk to Lea as well. I'd be more excited if I wasn't so thrashed. I want to use some of this time to write about my workcamp experience. Since I didn't have the time to write in my journal on a regular basis for the past three weeks I've decided to take a different approach than the regular day by day iteration I've been previously using. The primary reason is it would be nearly impossible since I would need to remember everything that happened on a day by basis. Anyway before I begin I would like to mention that I am truly saddened by the recent passing of Tom Nakagawa, a good friend of Gary's. I will remember Tom in my heart and in my mind. My thoughts go out to Tom's family, Gary and his other friends. I will miss Tom.
The Zonca workcamp was different than the workcamp in Broumov, Czech Republic. It's difficult to say at this point if the Broumov workcamp was better or not, or really if I liked the Broumov workcamp more than the Zonca workcamp. There were definitely things I disliked about the Zonca workcamp, but that is not to say that the Broumov workcamp was perfect. In Broumov there were also things that I disliked as well. Going into Zonca I knew there would be challenges. The work and the change in diet. Possibly because I was mentally prepared for these challenges, they didn't play as such a significant role as other things. First the food we cooked was absolutely fantastic. A significant portion of the food came directly from the garden. Mostly what we bought was bread, flour, chocolate and other items we may had lacking.
Working in the kitchen was very difficult as well. Normally we only worked two day shifts in the kitchen with about four volunteers total. The group would get up early to start the fire and begin to prepare breakfast. Usually tea, bread, coffee, cheese, tomatoes, butter and water. Most of the time we would eat for about an hour. Sometimes, it seemed like every time for me, we would scramble to wash dishes and then also prepare for lunch, normally at 1:00pm or 2:00pm. I usually ended up doing the dishes and then the odd jobs necessary to help prepare lunch. Washing dishes can really be mind numbing work. With plates and cutlery for 20 or more people it can also be quite time consuming. Most people were not self starters when it came to washing dishes. I was always glad when someone of the kitchen crew would help me wash and dry plates. Sometimes non kitchen crew would help me as well. After doing dishes, there was seldom any time to spare and we would be scrambling to do the finishing touches on lunch. After lunch we would sometimes have a small break, this was later in the workcamp. Usually I'd start clearing the table with the kitchen crew or start washing dishes right away. A few times I got to avoid the duty and do something else. One time I helped Hilde pick wild spinach and wild salad. Dinner was usually a lot of work as well. I don't think we managed to be on time for any meal, but a few times we were really close. Most people didn't seem to care and would disappear until a little later.