My recent experience at Oliveto took place during a visit to my friend Erina's open house for a missions project she's leading called BayUP. In short, BayUP is intentional living in urban neighborhoods across the Bay Area. After the open house, the hordes of visitors split up to take out each of the 5 team members to dinner, and because I'm special (so special!), I got Erina all to myself.
Oliveto, to me, was relatively cheap. We ended up spending about $25 per person (I treated), which to me is a great price considering that it's a well-known and classy Berkeley joint. She, however, felt guilty, and with reason. Here is an excerpt from an update she sent out after her first week at BayUP:
Food has also been on our minds a lot. We all have a budget of $15/week for food, which comes out to less than a $1/meal for an entire week. While God has been sufficient in providing for our team, many of us are trying to learn what it means to have to ration food and eat just enough. God has definitely been challenging us about what true "Hunger" is and what it means to spend our money and labor on what can truly satisfy and to delight in the "richest of fare" (Isaiah 55).I tried to appease her guilt by justifying that there's nothing wrong with enjoying life and having nice meals once in awhile. Living that lifestyle, however, could be questionable, I said.
Right after I made that statement I realized what I hypocrite I am! I mean, I HAVE A FOOD BLOG! Just the day before Oliveto I had a conversation about French Laundry, where we spent $460 per person. The day after Oliveto I went to Pearl. I do eat out a lot, but definitely not as much as I did before... but relatively, it is still fairly often.That's my credit card activity since the beginning of the month for the most part (I can't recall what the "Queen House" purchase was though... strange. It might be a Taiwanese restaurant in the MVizzy). Everything on there is food or food-related. Would I be able to try $15/week for food? That means absolutely no eating out, since lunch in financial averages around $10 for a sandwich! Everything in moderation.