Wednesday, January 20, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Kripalu Volunteer

Just like in the "real world", your day is very different depending whether you're working, or you have off.

We'll start with a workday.

There are several different "sevas" or "jobs of selfless service to the community" or "karma yoga" (which is traditionally doing service without the expectation of anything in return, whereas we get room and board and programs, but we'll let that slide for now).

The sevas that volunteers do include: housekeeping, dishwashing, veggie prepping, grounds keeping, maintenace, production support for events, and a few office jobs.

Let me tell you about Veggie Prep, the seva with which I am best acquainted:

We go in at 8 am, and there is a magnet board filled with labels for the day that need to be fulfilled.

These labels are spit out by a computer and are for the recipes the chefs will be cooking the next day (we prep one day ahead). They're based on some (I'm sure fabulously complicated) math taking into account projected guest & staff headcount.

The labels tell us what to prep, how to cut it, how much, and what it's for.

When you're done a job, you stick the label on the container and put it on a cart that goes upstairs to the hot kitchen.

We work in a large room with tables that are giant cutting boards, chopping and slicing not just veggies, but cheese, tofu, tempeh, and some meats. We also measure out and soak the beans, and crack the eggs. So basically, we see just about everything before it goes upstairs to the hot kitchen.

There is a gigantic walk-in fridge where thousands of dollars of produce are kept, as well as a walk-in freezer and "39 degree room" where we keep proteins (meat, fake meat, cheese, eggs, milk and nuts).

There are all sorts of cool machines that help us do our work. We have a giant carrot/beet/potato peeler/scrubber:

as well as a few chopping/dicing/slicing/crumbling machines.

It's actually a really fun job, and I loved doing it.

Next time: Why I love VP

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