Tuesday is stew day, stew day is Tuesday!!

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Hi, I am Dolkar. I recently graduated from Parkdale Collegiate Institute and will be enrolled in nursing program at George Brown College. I feel quiet lucky to have one of the best youth summer jobs this year, that is being part of Greenest City YGS (Youth Green Squad)-yah! It has only been my first week, and I am just so amazed at how much new things I have learned and new friends that I have already made! It’s incredible. I first learned about this opportunity through previous YGS members and also through other programs of Greenest City such as the Youth Kitchen and Youth Garden Drop-In. Both these programs are great as this awesome summer job. If I had one wish in life, I would wish that I would achieve lifelong happiness, I don’t mean to be polite but I think that our ultimate goal as humans are to be happy, and it’s just the matter of how we approach it.

Our second day as Youth Green Squad was a blast. We had a chance to visit PARC (Parkdale Activity Recreational Centre). Although I often pass by their building, that was my first time learning about PARC and their mission. Our YGS members arrived there around nine in the morning, and already there was a lineup of people, mostly elders outside the building.

The PARC building looked like any ordinary buildings in Parkdale, it was located near St.Christopher House, but when we actually went inside, we saw many tables and chairs including sofas for have meals and chill. It reminded me of Coffee Time near my house, but this place was much more vibrant, and it had a warm and homely feeling when we entered the door. We met James in the PARC kitchen; he was the guy in charge of the kitchen- our official YGS chef! He told us that we were going to cook meal for over hundred people and the main dish was going to be borsch. I never tried borsch before, it was a like a stew but it was made from grated beets, pork and beef. Unfortunately, because of my diet, I didn’t have a chance to try it. But from my team members-Namsel, Eoin and Agar-who worked really hard in preparing the meal and had the chance to taste it, said ‘it was superb!’ Among several tasks in preparing the meal, my favourite was grating the beets; which was consider the most challenging task. It was funny when Namsel started to speed up-although it was not a competition- and he end up winning him a cut. But we all had fun and were laughing till the end.

After we finished cooking the meals, James told us to meet at the kitchen. And there, we shared our knowledge about Greenest City to James, and he talked to us about PARC and their mission. From how he spoke to us, we could tell that James was an enthusiastic and had the passion working part of the PARC to serve others in need and make a positive difference. We learned that PARC is a home for all diversity of people in Parkdale community. Other than providing people with these exceptionally delicious free meals, PARC has also lend it’s hand in assisting people with shelters, healthcare, and dealing with legal issues. The people that come for help at PARC are generally struggling with serious health and social problems. And their problems are often being neglected by the society and so they feel depressed, hopeless and excluded from their surroundings. Organization like PARC has treated these people with respect and human dignity, which also serves as giving them the hope and a stepping-stone to make the right choices and live happier lives.

I already love the things that we have been doing as YGS. And I am looking forward to some of our field trips, especially the one coming up next week- Carrot Commons Green Roof Trip!!!

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