My parents and I were all surprised when first registering at Waipahu High School and we were informed that every student had to work in the lunch cafeteria as a volunteer for one week each semester. It was not something that students had to do in California, so I was surprised, but carried through with my duty.
Cafeteria duty consisted primarily of cleaning up after the paid staff. It was messy but since everyone had to do it, it was easy to get over it.
The cafeteria served many asian style dishes since the majority of the students were of asian descent. I learned to like many of the new foods I was eating. Asian style sticky rice was served daily and potatoes were a rarity. One of the more popular dishes served was a stewed lamb over rice. It appeared green from something in the roux, and I never could acquire a taste for it. Another food I never developed a taste for was poi. I tried it several times to affirm my dislike, but just couldn't learn to like it. I loved mango's and would eat them right off of the trees. I also loved fresh pineapple and coconut.
The one habit I developed during this time was an addiction to Coca Cola. I began buying the large bottles and would drink more than one each day. I got so I needed a Coke to get me going each day. I would buy them on my way to school and carry them until I finished them.
My eating habits went downhill during this time. I would have a coke and a box of raisins for breakfast, and unless the cafeteria lunch had something I really liked, lunch was often just a piece of pie and a coke. Dinner was my normal meal because I ate at home and my Mom would never have let me get away with eating the way I was during breakfast and lunch.