A bit about me
Hi. I’d like to introduce myself to all of you who don’t know me, and to those of you who have joined this small community recently. My name is Cham (Chamila) and I am native Sri Lankan who has been living in the US for almost 30+ years. I was a child when we left amidst the civil war that lasted generations.But that’s not what I want to talk about so let’s get to it. I’m a trained AMI Montessori teacher who has taught on and off for 10 years, taking a break to have my kids and then re-entering the classroom as a working parent. My passion has always been in the kitchen and garden. I believe they go hand in hand and this understanding of both has been fueled by my passion to protect our Earth. I have always been involved in environmental issues since I was a child. I guess what I always wanted was to work for National Geographic but alas that dream passed. In the last few years after I quit teaching in a classroom, I homeschooled my kids and slowly began to build a business where I taught kids cooking classes incorporating the Montessori philosophy and materials to supplement our knowledge of food and where it comes from.
My deepest passion remains with educating kids and parents on cooking as a means to become advocates for environmental changes in this climate crisis we are inevitably facing. There is mounting evidence that now points to the climate crisis and agriculture as a means to slow it down. With the feeling of helplessness in all this, the small daily steps we can take is how we buy and consume food and things to make changes in the global economy and social justice programs we feel passionate about, especially in our local communities. The idea of “think globally and act locally” is not just a statement but a genuine way to make effective change. Making a business out of a philosophical ideology is definitely a challenge.
Do I wish I had a product for you to buy? Would it be easier to sell you a program? Can I just stick to one thing? The easy answer is yes, but that would be… easy. So, here I am explaining in a very convoluted way who I am. I could have given you the layers of the onion but I just went ahead and peeled it back for you. This is me. This is layers and layers and years and years of work and continuing to grow and share with you. What do I offer as a business? I offer programs for children, families, and Supper Clubs for adults. I offer a way to connect you to your local community and to a more sustainable approach to your food. I offer you and challenge you to be more and do more. I invite you to join this ideology that our food system and education system need to join forces to reinvent our healthcare system. Is that too much to ask? I think if we can accomplish this, we will be a gentler, kinder, compassionate, and intuitive society. So, if you’re with me let me know. Drop a comment and let’s see what we can do together. Here’s to 2022 and making changes!
One of the programs I'm really excited to share with you and I'm hoping to make a central part of what I offer is the Family Meals Workshop. This has been the dream course I've been "cooking up" for the past 15 years! I didn't know it at that time, but for all the emails, videos, recipes, buy this not this info I have shared with parents and friends, this is what I have been working towards. I want to offer this to you to help and support you if you need it. Combined with my Montessori trainings, farming and soil health coursework, and now herbology and soon to be- nutrition course work, I hope to offer you more content that will resonate with your family.
I have spent years sending emails and listening to parents helping them navigate work and family life in relation to food. It is a challenge, but it can be easier than what we are told from a marketing perspective. These workshops are to help you so they are tailored to each group of families that join.
When you finally know what you want to do it hits you like a bolt of lighting and you just can't wait to share it with everyone. This is lately how I'm feeling. I wake up before dawn ready to work and can't write things down fast enough. I dream of Supper Club menus and pour through cookbooks and make menus. I have so many kids cooking and other programs that I'm contacting local friends and collaborators to offer a variety of programs. They say strike while the iron is hot, so I'm trying. I'm trying while also figuring out how to parent a 13 year year old who is entering her adolescent years and needs extra love. I'm trying while supporting an 11 year old entering public school for the first time during a pandemic. And I'm trying to be true to myself, my health and my desire to be genuine to my heritage while maintaining my identity as a POC.
I'm not complaining by any means. I get to do this on my terms, I get to do it my way, and I get to decide how I want to do it. I miss teaching. I miss being with kids. I miss the excitement and joy of them discovering their abilities. I miss a steady paycheck- as low as it was. But I am also living the dream of creating my own recipe of life. I've taken all the ingredients of knowledge and now sharing it with you. Oh boy, I rolled my own eyes at that dad joke- that one is for my husband!
Thank you for following, thank you for sharing, thank you for texting and messaging me words of encouragement and excitement. Thank you for being you. You are the reason I am doing this. You are the reason I want to keep pushing myself to do and be more. I was raised by a Buddhist father and a Catholic mother on an island that practices many faiths and religions. However, the teaching that remains universal is "it is in giving that we receive" and at no point in my life has this become more apparent than right now. Peace, love and blessings to you all.