Saturday, 5 September 2009

communal eating...

Enter the dining room: you grab a tray, you pile on four plates, four lots of cutlery and then join the queue for the hot food, then the bread, salad and cold foods and take your pick. You hold up the line whilst trying to work out what the children will eat and in what quantity.

Photo taken by Joshua: Tom by one of the food lines on a day when there is no lunch served, so you have to imagine the queue and masses of people...

You find somewhere to sit and try and convince your children to choose the same table, preferably somewhere where Daddy, Uncle Sam and Amy and anyone else who fancies joining us can find us - not on 'Port side' which is hidden away (even though it does have the best view of the tug boats and unless it is weekend breakfast when no one with any sense has made it out of bed to join us anyway).

This is about a quarter of the larest section of the dining room, there are a couple of alcoves near the food lines as well - and you won't ever find it this empty unless you choose your moment carefully to take a photo!

You then get up again to get the plates that didn't fit on the tray, then again for some drinks, then again to stick toasted sandwiches in the machine if it is lunchtime, then for some fruit that also didn't fit on the tray, maybe again for some napkins, although more often we just use the ones Amy has brought :-) and then you are set. As long as no one needs the bathroom, a drink re-fill or anything else.

Photo by Tom: in his eye one of the most important parts of the dining room - the apple juice and the 'red juice', plus one of the toasters

The food is pretty good, while it has the school dinner feel while standing in the line, the food is much better than school dinners, fantastic considering they are cooking for hundreds of people and we are in Africa.

On birthdays someone rings the bell and everyone sings and bangs on the tables. Good reason to avoid the dining room on your birthday if you are over the age of 10.

Then you put your plates on a trolley and some other lovely people do the washing up. Good eh?

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