European Wilderness Volunteer DiaryThe Diary of the European Wilderness Society Volunteers

An evening of food and culture

Hi, Vicky here! I’ve been a volunteer at the European Wilderness Society since October. So much has happened since then, and various daytrips, dinners and winter sport activities have let me properly settle into life in Tamsweg and get closer to everyone in the office. One thing I was really looking forward to was an international dinner, an EWS tradition. With just one volunteer though, it wasn’t really worth doing it in the autumn. When Elena joined us in January, it was finally time to have a multicultural meal together.

Cooking up a storm

Although we’d already prepared some of the food the night before, we left the office early to prepare the rest. The normally peaceful volunteer flat kitchen was sent into a frenzy as we frantically finished cooking in time for everyone to arrive. Hanna and Jonas lent us their oven as there just wasn’t enough room for all the food! Nathalie prepared some “bonbon piment”, a falafel-like dish from her time in La Reunion, as a starter, I baked non-traditional Cornish pasties for the main and Elena made Russian “Syrniki” pancakes for dessert. So definitely a carb-rich meal! We hastily cleaned the messy kitchen and set the table just in time for everyone to arrive.

A slice of culture

After a heavy meal and light conversation, we took a break from eating to give presentations on our home countries. Although I’m not from there, I talked specifically about Cornwall in England where I studied. It has quite a unique culture and even has its own (barely spoken) language. This was accompanied by scones with clotted cream and jam. From Elena there was a presentation about Russia, complete with beautiful pictures and videos of the landscape. We got a glimpse of just how vast and diverse the country is, as well as the complex political geography!

All in all, it was a great evening. We all found out something new about the places we had lived before coming to Austria. And of course, one of the best ways to appreciate other cultures is by enjoying their food!

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