"Six years ago, I first stepped foot in Nepal. My friend and I decided to take a backpacking trip across Asia while I contemplated the traditional path I was on. Just having graduated from college with a Bachelor's in Nutrition, I wasn’t thrilled with the conventional career path options.
It was during our hiking expedition one day; while overlooking Mt. Everest and the Himalayan peaks, that things shifted for me. With each breath of crisp mountain air I took, I felt revitalized. I'd been contemplating what my future could look like pursuing my passion for food (a surprising nudge from my mom).
We trekked down from the viewpoint through rocky fields, magenta flowering bushes, and small remote villages. We passed goats, chickens, temples, and shrines and spoke with many strangers native to the land.
The vibrancy of the Nepalese culture nestled in the valleys spoke to me. I felt compelled to find that vibrancy within myself and that’s what eventually led to confirming my decision to go to culinary school.
Fast forward six years and I'm eternally grateful for the moment of perspective I gained on that walk down through the village of Nagarkot. I'm so lucky to be able to return to this country again, this time with my dad, with the mission of giving back a fraction of what I’ve gained from my time spent in Nepal.
We've been able to volunteer with HCP Cureblindness, a nonprofit whose mission is to eradicate avoidable blindness - something that disproportionately affects Nepalese people living in the mountains. Founded by Dr. Sanduk Ruit, a leading innovator in small-incision cataract surgery and the accessibility of this surgery in remote areas. He and his team have performed over 1.4 million cataract surgeries thus far and are nowhere close to stopping. If you have a moment, check him out for more Nepal volunteer opportunities!
Thank you to all the people, friends and family, who support my small business and have allowed me to pursue my dreams. Although I am not curing blindness on a day-to-day basis, I hope all of my customers (you!) feel supported & nourished by Soj."