October 7th, 2015

Reflections from the ‘newbie’

Being the ‘newbie’ at Canaan Project has been fun and challenging. Having been in my previous job for 6 years, it has taken some getting used to having to be the new person in the team and the one asking all of the questions! I’ve learnt lots of new things already, including how to play ‘Jungle Speed’ which is a confusing game of colour and shape matching which, as the name say, is a rather fast moving game. The girls have been very patient with me as I have been learning from them the rules and basics of the game. I thought I was doing ok at it and then they declared that we would now play it at ‘normal speed’ which is when I realised how much they had slowed it down to be able to teach me!

Having been told by many of the girls that Tanya had prepared an epic Christmas meal, so the pressure was on to be able to make decent food in the kitchen!! In the past couple of weeks we have had a mixture of successes and mini disasters in the cooking department! We made Peri Peri chicken and sweet potato, which tasted amazing and was great to sit round the table and eat it together, the girls who helped to make it were full of pride for the delicious food they produced. Nando’s better watch out!

On the total flip side, we attempted to make chocolate crispy cakes for a charity coffee morning, which I thought were the simplest cakes out there…but somehow melting the chocolate led to an utter flop! I wondered how the girls would react to the failed chocolate crispy cakes, but they found the whole thing really funny and were pleased in the end that they hadn’t really worked as planned because it meant they could eat the mixture themselves! So we ate the random sludge and laughed about it together. It was a good moment to share with them.

The role of a youth worker is to support, guide and teach the young people we work with, but so many times through the work we do they teach us something more about the world or maybe even ourselves. My short time so far at the Canaan Project has been lots of fun, and I hope I am always up for being taught by the young people we work with – especially the ability to laugh when things don’t go to plan and eat the cake anyway!