Monday, February 06, 2006

traveling sandwiches


Yesterday I thought I had found some willing hands to help with this sandwich making endeavor, but it’s a hard thing to round up the troops on this “compound” in paradise… so there I was with 5 loaves of bread, a whole bunch of lettuce, two big cucumbers, 4 packs of cheese and a bottle of mustard. Laying out the sandwiches one by one, visions of the kids receiving them were streaming through my thoughts. I had no idea what was to come, but it felt really good getting ready for it. In assembly line fashion, I laid out the ingredients one by one until my first batch of ~40 sandwiches was finished. After wrapping them up in paper towels (I’ve since bought foil) I placed them back in the loaf bags and put them into my “sandwich delivery bag” (AKA my Brazilian flag).

I made it to town as the sun was going down (didn’t realize how long it would take to make the sandwiches, washing and cutting included…alone).

Monday nights are a little slow in the Pelourinho, and I actually had a difficult time finding any kids at first. But soon they started appearing around me.


A group of four girls asked for some fruit from the juice vendor I was standing in front of. I tapped one girl on the shoulder and asked her if she was hungry. She gave a shy nod, and I asked her if she wanted a sandwich to which she replied with a huge smile and opened eyes. An enthusiastic nod followed as I gave her the remainder of my sandwiches in the bag for her and her friends. With the bag in her hand, she stood behind her friends and tapped one on the shoulder with the biggest smile I’d seen all night and showed her the bag…to which her friend responded with a big eyed toothy smile as well. These smiles were contagious, which caused my friends and I to start smiling too… the girl pointed at me, and suddenly “obrigadas” (thank you-s) and shaking hands were put out.

This was a beautiful and extraordinary occurrence.
To see a stale face full of sadness and hunger transformed to a happy lively smiling contrast.

This encounter prompted my friend to comment on the possibility of creating a permanent table/booth that would always be there and with a stamp card, one could get a free sandwich everyday. This would be my dream. For someone to take over this mission in each place I visit, and follow through with this idea.

The traveling sandwiches are on their way.

More stories about the kids to come….


Post a Comment

<< Home