What have the dining staff been doing these days as they take a break from work? What is on their mind about CA reopening, and especially about the reopening of CA’s Student and Faculty Center, affectionately known as the StuFac? Today we are going to hear from Fabiana Meireles and Renee Taylor, who are both chefs, about their experiences and perspectives as CA dining staff during the pandemic. 

Coco: Hello Renee and Fabiana! What have you guys been up to these days? 

Fabiana: Hello! I have been home the whole time to be safe with my family. We did watch a lot of TV shows together. I also worked around my yard and made a vegetable garden, and grew food that I used in my kitchen. We had zucchini, scallions, cherry tomatoes and some Brazilian vegetables – giló and maxixe. 

Renee: I have been a nanny for my great nephews since their mother has to work throughout this pandemic as a nurse and therefore needed help with the kids. I also took up fishing. I haven’t done it since I was a kid, and I kind of forgot how much fun it was and how much I enjoyed it! I have also been hitting all kinds of new spots like Deer Island and Gloucester, as well as getting outside in Nature. And of course I’m bringing my dog Biggie on these adventures – it has been a blast! She loves it!

C: That sounds very exciting! How do you feel about CA reopening, and specifically about the reopening of StuFac?

F: I can’t wait to be back to work. I know CA will take all precautions so that everyone can return safely. I’m full of energy and excitement with the dining hall reopening. I know we all will do our best as we always did during this difficult time. We are a great team.

R:  I am also very excited to go back. I imagine things will be a bit different but I know we can all work together and get everything back to normal again! We have the best team! And I can’t wait to get back to feeding all of [the CA community]! Definitely one of the joys of my job.

C: I also look forward to the reopening, and can’t wait to go back and see all of you again! And from your perspective, what are some ways that CA can support dining staff amid the pandemic?

F: I think what the school can do to help us staff is to keep us updated about what is going on around the school so that we are aware. 

R: The best way to support the staff during this pandemic is to follow all of the guidelines and rules put in place to keep all of us healthy and safe. Just be diligent and aware of this and we will all get through this stronger than ever!

As Fabiana and Renee said, the dining staff is extremely excited to welcome CA members to the StuFac. With passionate and diligent leaders like them, the dining staff and other members of the CA community will collaborate in creating a safe and healthy environment for everyone as CA prepares to reopen.