What’s in a meal? At LCI, plenty! The tradition of weekly common dinners is a long-standing one with LCI. Students from different cultures come together as a team to prepare dishes from around the globe. These meals are organized to create a sense of team spirit, coming together and cultural exchange but they usually result in so much more. They usually bring the LCI students together as a family and bind them in friendship the way only good food can!

This semester our LCI common dinners were particularly successful. We started off strong with an all American chili-dinner prepared by the CMC missionaries Mathew, Hannah, Elizabeth and Rachel. Not long after, our friend Ning from China, who is a cook by trade, made us hand spun Chinese noodles! We also enjoyed many delicious stews and soups made by the dynamic duo of Lera (from Kazakhstan) and Laura (from Romania). To top it all off, Jenny Healy headed the team of missionaries as they prepared American hamburgers for a common dinner.

Not only were the menus delicious for common dinners this semester but we were also able to share in some of the largest dinner parties LCI has been able to host! We served up several meals in the old gothic refectory with over forty people during the LCI’s English Course for Bishops and we were very blessed to share a meal with over sixty people when a group of Ukrainians visited with our friend Fr. Mykhaylo Mykyta!

These meals are so much more than meals for us. We build lifelong relationships over good conversation, fellowship, and before and after meal grace. Sharing a meal with someone from a different culture breaks down barriers and says, “See, we’re the same? We both laugh, we both love and we both like good food!” It is in sharing in that simple human necessity, a meal, that friendship can bloom. So, what’s in a meal? Well, at LCI, goodwill, teamwork and of course, delicious food!