Volunteering Season Begins Again

Today was the first day of volunteering at Eldon House for the 2016 season. 2015 events were pretty much finished for the season after the Summer Tea Program ended in September, aside from Christmas and New Year’s activities. Today’s event was a tea tasting workshop hosted by the owners of The Tea Haus. I had the opportunity of meeting the owners of The Tea Haus, Stephanie and Mike. They are great people and they educated me even more about tea. I already thought I knew a lot, but I was wrong. Today, as a lucky volunteer, I learned the differences in flavour between Sri Lankan, Chinese and Indian teas, as well as different types of these teas. I can now distinguish between Earl Grey, Darjeeling, Orange Pekoe and Assam Meleng teas; all black teas, but all very different. It was a fun and educational day. All I had to do in return was help to serve tea and refreshments and help with the clean up afterward. Pretty fair trade-off, I think!

I was aware of The Tea Haus for some time before today, and I have been there a few times and had a couple of pots of tea there. I have found the shop to be quite intriguing, and I love the idea that it is a local shop, not attached to any chains. Now, having met Stephanie and Mike, I can’t wait to go again. I think the next tea I buy and potentially the rest of my tea from now on will be from The Tea Haus! Their knowledge and kindness has converted me, I think!

After my volunteer duties were finished, I decided to take a quick stroll through the house. I never fail to be amazed by the house and its artifacts. It is absolutely beautiful, no matter the season.

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I was also trying to prolong my walk back home. The weather walking to Eldon House was rather nasty, a mix of rain and snow that had me rather wet upon my arrival in the Interpretive Centre, the event venue. The wind was a bit gusty, and it wasn’t a pleasant walk. My umbrella turned out to be completely useless, thanks to the wind. During the event, the rain and snow mix turned into straight snow, but the wind picked up and started gusting quite significantly. The trees surround the museum were swaying with abandon. It looked a little bit dangerous, I will admit. After the event was over, the wind was still very gusty and the snow was coming down quite heavily.

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This photo doesn’t even begin to convey the amount of blowing snow out there.

I bundled up, braced myself for the walk home, and thankfully the traffic was very light so walking was fast. I am now home and cozy in my apartment listening to the gusting wind, dreading what the morning is going to look like when I have to walk to work… But it was fun while I was there! Volunteering can be so fulfilling, even when it is something small like helping with an event at a museum.

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