First, a little backstory: when my husband, Nic and I cycled around the world with World By Cycle we were astounded by the kindness and generosity of strangers we met every day in every country we cycled through. From South America, West Africa, through Europe and east all the way to Kyrgyzstan, people asked us into their homes and fed us.
Enjoying a local meal provided us a far richer experience and understanding of the culture, people, and place. Returning to Australia, I wanted to reciprocate the kindness I received and so became part of the Welcome Dinner Project on the Northern Beaches. The Welcome Dinner Project assists local residents to host both newly arrived and established Australians in their home over dinner and food is the icebreaker.
Last week, Katie (whom I met in my Mum’s group), Michael and I co-coordinated our first of many dinners. It was such a joy. And the diversity of food was bountiful and delicious. Sharing food with strangers creates life long friendships and I know all our lives will be richer as consequence.
And the food! A number of newly arrived to Australia were from Tibet and there were handmade veggie Momos and since it was just the Buddhas Birthday celebration, special vegetable noodles. A few of the locally established guests were from Europe and South America and so there were delights from these regions amongst some traditional Australian cuisine too.
How Welcome Dinners work is a potluck style with everyone brining a dish and sharing a bit about the meaning of the dish shared. I brought my famous vegan dips. And luckily there were leftovers so everyone got to take some home. Nic and my daughter, Indi, were very happy for that!
Sounds too fabulous? Sign on up and get yourself some of this amazing. Katie, who’s always lived in these parts but is an avid traveler commented that the dinner experience was the most culturally rich she’d experienced in Australia. So yes, it’s like being on the road again while staying home – exploring more deeply the culture, people, and place right here.