December 27, 2019

Hey! My name is Tanya, and I’m one of Ria’s good friends. This is my third time blogging and I thought I would help out Ria as the two other Rainy Day Chefs are out on vacation. I hope you’re enjoying the holiday season so far and spent a great Christmas with your family.

This cookout, our head chef Ria has whipped up another delicious recipe, a filling Sheep Herder’s breakfast with a side of yogurt parfait. To start this meal, my little brother Ayush and I chopped the onions while Ria cooked them. Ria cut and added the sausage while Ayush added hash browns. Ria layed it out in a pan and pressed it with a spatula. Then we all cracked eggs on top of the dish. To finish, I put it in the oven to bake for ten to fifteen minutes. For the yogurt parfait, we decided to use Chobani cups as we wanted to stop wasting plastic.

As we entered the homeless shelter, a feeling of shock fell over me. I saw people resting on sleeping bags on the floor, a man facetiming someone who appeared to be his mother, and a girl sitting on a ping pong table on the verge of tears. As I saw them sitting somberly during the holiday season, I felt that it was so unfair how some people who didn’t grow up with a support system end up homeless and without guidance. My feelings of shock quickly turned into sadness for the hardships they were going through. We walked down to the back where the kitchen was, and I don’t know if I saw all their food, but in the kitchen, I saw a surprisingly low amount of food as well as plates and utensils. The guy who opened the shelter and helped us with where to place the food was very kind, and he shared with us that he was a volunteer who helped keep the shelter open from night until morning. It was in this moment I realized how privileged I was to have supportive parents, and a home to live in. 

In the car ride home, I was silent because I was reflecting on such an eye-opening experience. Vrushali Masi then asked me why I was so quiet. I realized how many people were suffering and I think for the first time, I truly saw what Rainy Day Chefs was doing. Although making food is a huge part of this organization, the true mission is giving back and helping people through tough times.

We would like to thank Anu Auntie and Ram Uncle for sponsoring the last cookout of the decade in honor of Neha’s birthday. We hope you’re enjoying your trip in Thailand!

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