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Chai and Chats

If there was one job in the world I thought I would never find myself doing, it would be between becoming an orthopaedic surgeon, or cooking or baking for anyone other than myself. Further evidence of my atrocious ability in the latter can be found in school reports from my Food and Nutrition teacher who seemed overly supportive of me giving up her class to follow pretty much any other pursuit. So, there is something quite terrifying and comical in the fact that I now find myself managing our Tibetan Tearoom. But, in the words of Neale Donald Walsch, “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” - that, at the moment for me, is the door of the tearoom.

So, in April this year, after two weeks of shadowing our wonderful Ira, the journey began! What I found to be most reassuring was the fact that with our super fabulous team, I was not alone. Firstly, with the combination of our current volunteers and residents, most of the cooking and baking is out of my hands - thank goodness! We have our wonderful Kat who has worked on creating a delicious array of sweet treats that range from vegan lemon drizzle and chocolate cakes, jammy coconut sponge cakes, and all sorts of cookies, muffins and more! And then together with herself, Joelle, Tom, Druk, Alex and others; the most delicious and wholesome homemade daals and soups can be served as well! And so, to my utmost relief, my role is more that of a taster, which I thoroughly enjoy. And while we are on the topic of soup, just a shout out in case you are not aware, we are now serving homemade soup and homemade bread on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings; which can be a lovely healthy dinner option before the 7 pm sessions. 

We also have a marvelous team of residents, who work in the tearoom for their karma yoga, and part-time volunteers who give up their free time to help out during weekends. Their help with making coffees, serving, cleaning, taking photos, and designing menus is invaluable. And this always comes with the joy and happiness they bring to the space. I feel at the moment that there is a lovely, supportive, and family-like feeling with everyone who helps in our tearoom, and I always  forward to seeing everyone when they come in for their shifts.

So with this amazing support, and some time having passed, I have to say I am finding what I thought would be a terrifying experience to be an often joyous one. The best part of all is getting to know our wonderful community who come regularly each week. I love our little life-catch-ups over the counter and chats about Tibetan language or recent teachings. This is a gift of life that many people live without - of just being able to touch base with like-minded and kind people; and so I am very grateful to have this opportunity. 

An extra pair of hands is always appreciated, so, if you have a few hours you want to spare over occasional weekends, let us know! It’s great to visit the centre, but there is something special about being part of the team as well. 

That's all from me for now! I hope to see you soon for some chai and a chat!


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