New Year News 2021
In a year when traveling to the corner shop has become an adventure it's been a challenge to find new ways to keep going and we have kept going. True there has been help from the government but rent and fixed overheads still have to be paid, with all our staff on furlough we still have to pay our contributions to their pensions and national insurance. Against the odds we're still here, somewhat bemused at how we have kept going.
Looking back on the first lockdown we were just a little innocent, certainly our deliveries ticked over and we enjoyed cooking for the doctors & Nurses at the RUH. The weather was as close to perfect as we get, spending time in the garden with plenty of family BBQs was hardly a chore. then came our chance to reopen and we were busy, meeting old friends and customers after lockdown had to be one of the best memories of the year. Sadly it didn't last.
Much like the first lockdown when the announcement came for a second lockdown no-one was surprised. Unlike the first that brought fear, the second came with a feeling of dread we knew the drill and that the weather wouldn't be so kind this time around. One thing we hadn't factored in was just how beautiful the change from autumn to winter is, always working in our basement we miss so much of what is happening around us.
This year has given us the the time to follow our other interests. Sera has been loving the time to potter, he loves cleaning and doing odd jobs, yes a little weird but the restaurant is so clean and repainted to within an inch of it's life. Arun having lost all of his business this year is back with us, he's built beautiful painted screens creating cosy safe zones around our tables. Sarah has been writing lots of new recipes, we though that since you can't come to us we'd start selling our spices and create a recipe section on our shop site so you can cook at home.
We were very sad to see Niru go after 10 years with us, her move is a positive one as she felt that with the problems Covid 19 has brought, she would like to work in the care sector. We wished her well and support her in her new job.
YYY Foundation News
YYY Foundation has had a tough time, all our fund raising has ground to a halt and Covid is causing problems in Nepal. We have been able to keep in touch with most of the schools we help and they are still keeping going. The Nepalese government locked the remote hills down very early on and there has been little movement for 12 months now, in a country without medical facilities protecting remote areas has been vital. All the money we had raised for our 2020 and 2021 teacher training programs has been ring fenced and we will pick up where we left off as soon as it's safe to do so.
Sadly the 2020 monsoon was a kick in the teeth for the people of Ukhubari. In late 2015 we helped the school to buy land so they could build a new school on safe ground to replace the old school that had collapsed in the earthquake. In mid August there was a big landslide in Nagpuje the village adjoining Ukhubari, killing 32 people including children from the school. 67 families were, for the second time in 5 years, left homeless without food or possessions. The Nepalese government stepped up and provided tents for each family and we arranged for just over a months worth of food, household washing kits with extra hand soap, personal hygiene kits and feminine hygiene kits for every family. We would like to thank Boarderlands Nepal for delivering and distributing the help packages for us.
What's in store for 2021? That's anyones guess we honestly don't know, we do have lots of dreams though. With the roll out of the vaccine and the improving weather in spring we are hoping to be able to get going again with a renewed vigour. There are some new recipes for the restaurant coming along that we're excited about, once we open again they will be featured on our specials board so you can try them and hopefully you'll like them as much as we do. We're also going to be doing more on the spices and recipe side of our business, you can expect to see regular new features with recipes and the stories behind them.
Our biggest dream for 2021 & 22 is to run a trip to Nepal for people who are interested in Nepalese food, culture and photography, we're hoping that this first pilot trip will lead on to many more. On the trip we will take you well off the beaten track and show you lesser known places where you will be able to meet villagers and see first hand the work we have been doing with YYY Foundation, if you are interested please let us know as the trip will be strictly limited to a small number of people.
As this year unfolds we would just like to wish everyone the best 2021 possible and although we now find ourselves back in lockdown it looks like there's a welcome light at the end of the tunnel.
Sarah & Sera