When I came up with the concept behind 38 Ways to Celebrate, I knew that I wanted to volunteer at the L’Arche Tahoma Hope community in Tacoma, Washington. I grew up less than 20 miles from their community and did not even know it existed until I began working at L’Arche Greater Vancouver. On Friday, April 20, I got my opportunity…
I was impressed from the moment I arrived. I was early and a little unsure where exactly I should be. An assistant from the Farmhouse kindly let me join her and her housemates while they enjoyed their breakfast while I waited for others to arrive. When I reported to the barn I was greeted by several program participants, and we chatted about our favourite foods and activities as we awaited the arrival of the rest of our team.
My first job for the day was doing dishes! Normally, I am not a fan of doing dishes by hand (isn’t that why dishwashers were invented?). However, doing the dishes gave me some quality “girl time” with my partner and new friend Deborah, and the time flew by as we washed, dried and stacked.
My next job was transplanting tomatoes, preparing them for the Saturday market. In less than 2 seconds I was wrist-deep in dirt! This was my first experience transplanting tomatoes, so I had a bit of a learning curve, but I managed to keep up pretty well (and I didn’t break any plants).
After transplanting tomatoes it was party time! Being the lucky girl that I am, I happened to be volunteering on the same day as a program participant’s birthday celebration. So we piled into vans and headed over to Round Table Pizza.
The birthday celebration was so much fun! Pizza, soda, carrot cake cupcakes, and of course singing. I brought the birthday guy a L’Arche backpack from our community and was delighted when he put it on right away.
My day at L’Arche Tahoma Hope was amazing. I left their community feeling full of love. With the exception of my own L’Arche community, I have never felt so welcome in any place in my entire life. I not only felt at home, I felt like family. So THANK YOU L’Arche Tahoma Hope for your warmth and kindness!
The L’Arche Tahoma Hope community is known for their knack for producing amazing plants, however, after visiting them, I think perhaps their best talent is the ability to grow and cultivate friendships. For more about L’Arche Tacoma visit their website.