Vocab Friday: Bénévole

So I think I owe you a little story about me handing out gift bags at the Ambassador’s house last week. Let’s set the scene, shall we? It’s Wednesday, two days before I’m about to go on vacation. It’s disgustingly hot (which I know garners no sympathy from my DC friends. But at least you have air conditioning!). I am cramming to finish up a little work and homework from my writing class (this here writing thing don’t come naturally). It’s there, in the haze of my apartment, that I decided to volunteer my services at the Ambassador’s annual 4th of July party.

Why? Who knows. I guess I have a do-gooder gene that just won’t quit. Plus I wanted to get a behind the scenes peak at one of the hottest parties in town. And ok, rumors were flying that the Gossip Girl cast would be there. (They were not)

So I reported to duty the next evening, dressed up, ready to don my biggest volunteer smile. There were 7 or 8 other volunteers, so it was pretty easy at first. At some point three of the volunteers, who looked to be teenager age, went to “cool off” for a bit. Which was fine, until we were totally bum-rushed by hundreds of guests.

And let me tell you: It does not matter what race, nationality, sex or sexual orientation you are. The one unifying desire of people across the globe is free stuff. Everybody wants it, bad.

About an hour into the weeds, our teenage volunteers returned. Maybe little bleary eyed, not so stable on the heels. Perhaps smelling a little boozy. All three chewing gum like it was going out of style.

And good grief did it make me angry. Here I was, doing their share of work in the awful humid evening air, fighting off gift bag hoarders and trying to keep the sweat pooling at my lower back to a minimum. And those kids! Those irresponsible troublemakers!

They didn’t even have the decency to ask me to join them for a cold one.

*  *  *

Which leads me to today’s vocabulary:


Pronunciation: beh-neh-vohl

Definition: volunteer (and yes! I figured out how to make accents on my french words!)

As in:

The kids should have known that the elder bénévoles were on to their tricks and could have been easily bribed into silence with a glass of champagne.”


Add Yours
  1. Kimberly Willson

    I am so proud of you! your tradition of volunteerism & your discovery of accents on the keyboard!

    A. Kim

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