Monday, January 31, 2011

Joanna and Asian rice/veggie soup

Sandwich board lists city busses
connecting with Nickelsville
T.J. was at the entrance, all dolled up in a very beautiful and colorful outfit of velvet skirts, scarves and make up.  When asked what's the outfit destination, she said that is how she copes with bouts of depression - dresses up wildly, so 'I don't do anything crazy or stupid instead'.

Jarvis was about to leave for a food bank, and that said Joanna  - the other kitchen coordinator - will help me in the kitchen until he is back.  Joanna happens to be a mother of the little girl LeAnn, so we talked about the family housing situation - not as good as it seemed: there is a program that would put the family into a hotel, until subsidized apartment comes along, BUT the parents are not married.  Apparently, in our crazy society having a 4 year old daughter does not create family, but marriage paper does.  Joanna's post office exam is on February 1st - she expects to pass it, as she passed one previously in California.  Andy, LeAnn father, is about to take a class on big truck driving.

While we were in the kitchen, a call came to Joanna to deal with donation of a refrigerator; she dispatched several man to bring it in, and mused that now a team has to be called to clean it before placing it in the spare kitchen.

Jarvis came back from the food bank - lot of goodies, but no salad stuff except some green onion today - healthy but perishable vegetables are really hard to come by in donations; Jarvis chopped the onion and we garnished the rice/veggie soup with it.   We chatted some more while chopping: Jarvis grew up in Illinois, then spent 4 years in the navy, 'seeing the world' - most of it several times and crossing the equator about 8 times.   I asked about the book he was telling me about the other day: 'Before the Mayflower' grew out of a series of articles Bennett published in Ebony magazine in 1962, regarding "the trials and triumphs of a group of Americans whose roots in the American soil are deeper than the roots of the Puritans who arrived on the celebrated Mayflower a year after a 'Dutch man of war' deposited twenty Negroes at Jamestown." Bennett's history is infused with a desire to set the record straight about black contributions to the Americas and about the powerful Africans of antiquity.
link here.
Old fire station - present Nickelsville location

Later Jarvis introduced me to Monte, visiting Nickelsville from Tent City3, link here.  Monte mentioned that he was married for 10 years, never planned to become homeless, but since becoming one, he now thinks it's his true path - studying participatory democracy while organizing the tent cities.  Monte mentioned that soon he is planning to go to the other parts of the country to learn and share about their organizing experiences, as Tent City3  recently had visitors fro North Carolina (I believe) for the same purpose.

From this week's Nickelsville email alert: This week the King County Homeless Count took place.  Our count at Nickelsville was 92 people, including 26 women, one child and 16 veterans of military service.  Overall the count was slightly down, even though there are more homeless people now than ever.  That is because public spaces - especially those controlled by the Washington State Department of Transportation - are being swept more and more often, forcing more and more of us into isolated, secret, and dangerous areas that are hard for counters to find.

The soup:  rice and veggies (onion, ginger, carrots, cabbage, celery, yellow squash, frozen red peppers) in a chicken bouillon, and seasoned with  sesame oil, tamari sauce, hot chili flakes, chopped cilantro, green onion and garlic.

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