Tuesday, November 11, 2008

PA Distribution Center-People, Scenery, Food

The Pennsylvania Distribution Center is the place where GAiN receives and sends it's humanitarian aid. Twice a year, we have a work project where thousands of volunteers come and help us process the aid. This year we had over 5,000 volunteers over the span of 9 days. They helped us process new and used clothing, medical supplies, shoes, school supplies, toys, and blankets. It was a lot of work but it was a blast!


The first picture encompasses about a third of the DC...as you can see, there were a lot of people and even more stuff to process! I did a bunch of tours for groups as they came in for the first time and I told them that this DC contains a lot of stuff...but this stuff is used as a tool to meet physical needs so that ultimately we can meet spiritual needs.

We process thousand of blankets.

This is my friend and co-worker, Melissa, who was with the kids the entire project. She helped the kids tie gospel bead bracelets around the necks of TY beanie babies.

Mr. Dave is in charge of
GAiN's water initiative. He set up a display at the PDC to help volunteers gain (ha! no pun intended) a glimpse of the worlds water issues. Did you know that over 6,000 children die every day from water related illnesses?

The first day I was at the PDC, I ran into this familiar family! Eric discipled Chase in college. They are on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ and now live in PA doing ministry. I had NO idea they were going to be there, and they had no idea I even worked for GAiN!

Our (GAiN staff) lodging was provided by people in the community who opened up their homes to us for 10 days. Myself, Melissa, and 3 other woman stayed with a wonderful couple who were involved in the Church of the Brethren (similar to Mennonites). They live very simply, make the most amazing food, and are a true delight to be around. The couple we stayed with has small crop of neck-pumpkins (they pronounced it puN-kins). Mr. Shirk raved about neck-pumpkins and how much better they are for 'pun-kin' pie. They sold their small crop in their shed. They kept a money box in the shed and placed a sign in front that read 'Neck Pumpkins $2 each, on the honor system.'

The next 2 pictures were taken right outside the PDC...if you can't tell by the pictures, the PDC was in the middle of no-where PA. Amish farms surrounded the DC, it was incredibly beautiful!

I LOVE cultural food! It is one of my passions which is why I shop at so many ethnic grocery stores. Food is normally a large part of a culture so you can learn a lot about someone by understanding the food they eat and how it is prepared.
Below is a picture of Ham Balls.....yep, HAM. Balls. I wasn't too fond of it but at least I tried it. It's composed of shredded ham and a brown sugar type glaze packed tightly into the shape of a ball. It tasted good but had a unique texture that I didn't care for.

This one is a regular plane-Jane hamburger but it was served on a napkin! That's a first for me.

Ok, now for THE best gas station food EVER! I had heard from a couple people that I had to try the pretzel sandwich! As soon as I had an opportunity to get away from the DC, I went straight to Sheetz, a gas station that has AMAZING food!

Dun, dun na na! Behold, the pretzel sandwich! Yuuum Yum!

I also got a side of 3-cheese Mac & Cheese. It was the best gas station mac & cheese I've ever had! Oh, wait, I've never had gas station mac & cheese before Sheetz! It really was very good and creamy.

If your ever in the Lancaster County and see a Sheetz, STOP! Buy a pretzel sandwich! I might have to volunteer again for the PDC just for the opportunity to go to Sheetz.


Pam said...

oh, man! you are making me H-U-N-G-R-Y! That pretzel sandwich looks so yummy!

Anonymous said...

Some of the Sheetz's have good nachos too. Get them loaded with everything and extra sour cream.

Anonymous said...

Sheetz sucks. Don't eat this slop. I know a woman who works there and they put poop and spit in the food.

Anonymous said...

They also put ejaculate in it.

Anonymous said...

Ummmm! I'm going there now.