When I look back at this week we got a lot accomplished! We have now cooked the entire menu. Yes there are some things we need to work on, but I am sure that we can prefect them in the next 5 weeks. I wanted to see how the girls felt about the menu, so I gave them each a copy and asked them to write down everything they didn't feel confident in making. Each girl only had one or two items on their lists. I think that is pretty good since we have 20+ items on the menu.
Each week I have introduced something totally new, that we really focus on, like costing menu items, or staying busy. This week was table service. Monday and Tuesday I would write it then show them, then have them practice. On Wednesday I asked them to show me what they knew without using their notes. To say the least they had retained very little. I want to fuss but I knew it would do no good in this situation. I gave them something to do while, as I tried of a different way to teach them. Then it hit me it’s not like in America where we go to restaurants all the time and people serving. Yes the girls have been to a couple of restaurants here, but I don’t think they ever paid attention to the server and what all they did. I went to the girls and said get in the Tuk Tuk, we are going to Café Eden. Café Eden is one of the best places to eat in Battambang, it is set up like a American Café. Anna, the owner of Café Eden, had lived in Cambodia a couple year, then wanted to do more to help the street kids. She opened Café Eden to give them a place to work, improve their English and teach simple life skills. She has doing a wonderful work. This coming week they are celebrating being open one year. Anna has been lots of help to me and CGI. Anytime I have a question, or had a rough teaching day Anna is there to answer and encourage. Anyway, on the way to the café I tell the girls we will be ordering a coffee drink or smoothie, but the main reason I want them to watch and see how the server interacts with the tables. When we got there, one of the best servers (who knows me now) greeted us. I explained to us why we where there. She did a wonderful job, after she took the drink order; she came and talked to the girls about what is important. She also told them all about what she has learned in the past year. This was great for the girls to see someone who was in their shoes a year ago and how she has succeeded. As we were about to leave Anna came in and took the time to talk to the girls. She explained to them the differences in Cambodian culture and what foreigners expect. Since I have only been here a month I didn’t know all about the culture to explain this to them. I am so blessed to have a colleague like Anna.
I think just really helped. The next day as we had alittle down time as stuff baked, they asked me if they could practice, of course I say yes. They are doing much better. Chris and 5 other people are coming this week, I hope to set up like the restaurant will be and let some serve and others cook. This will give me a better idea of where they are and what we need to work on.
Friday the girls had off, since I had to go to Thailand. It was an experience, but I got everything worked out. I now have a 3 month visa, which we will be able to change to a NGO visa. This will extend it for a year, and I am able to come and go from the country as I need to. While in Thailand I saw able to see snow. Well at least the closest thing to snow I will see this year.
For New Year’s Eve I have spent the day making drinks and lots of them!! Yes you read correctly. I have spent the day in the kitchen working on the drink menu. We will be having a coffee and fresh fruit smoothie bar (no alcohol) at the restaurant. I needed to write down recipes so I will be able to teach the girls. My favorites would be Mango, Banana Coconut, and Blended Carmel Coffee. Others that will be on the menu are Gingered Apple, Passion fruit, and Watermelon Basil Freeze.
Blended Carmel Coffee
Please be in prayer for:
Chris and the group coming with him, that they will have a productive trip.
Me, to be able to see what we need to work on and the knowledge to teach those things and t build the relationships need to follow God’s plan.
For the girls, as things are changing they are able to learn and improve, that they will understand that sometimes love comes the discipline.
I wish everyone a Blessed New Year, which we all are able to come closer to God and truly live out the great commandment. Matthew 22:37-39, Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’