I recently moved to China for a six-month internship. Besides the general culture shock, getting used to a whole new diet and set of ingredients has been a bit of a challenge. I’m lucky that most of my meals are provided for my – my internship is at a hotel restaurant – but on my days off I get to delve into the mysteries of Chinese cuisine.
I found myself standing in front of a wok in our common kitchen the other week when the one and only tiny grocery store in the community happened to be closed for the day. I had in my possession a can of tuna, some mushrooms, a bag of flour and a container of salt – not exactly gourmet materials. After pondering the situation for a while, I thought to myself: “Liz, you can make muffins in orange peels, brownies in a frying pan, eggs in a paper bag, hotdogs in milk cartons, and cookies in a cardboard box. Why are you just standing there?” So, I went at it camp style and made what I have often heard referred to in my Guiding community as a beaver tail or a chapati –basically bannock off the stick. Instead of working with the typical camp wood stove, I fried flour and water patties in my wok. When they were done, I carefully took a knife, split them in half and ate them like sandwiches with a mix of mushrooms and tuna in the middle.
All this to say, Guiding skills come in handy far more often than you might think. You don’t have to be out in the wilderness or even in a weekly meeting. I still refer back to what I learned during our laundry symbols relay race in Pathfinders, the improv games we play help me to think quickly on the spot – in job interviews, for example – and I can pack more than should be humanly possible into a tiny backpack.
Thanks Girl Guides!
By guest blogger Elizabeth. Elizabeth is currently living in Beijing, China, doing a six month internship at an eco-lodge but is looking forward to heading home to Montreal for her fourth year as a leader. Read her previous post on GirlGuidesCANBlog: Mother-Daughter Guiding.