Originally posted on Beezy ‘s Facebook page, and shared with her permission.
Jhamtse Gatsal was recently invited to open a café in the closest town of Tawang, the seat of local government. The local administration wanted to have one place in the town where people could get good coffee, teas and snacks in a warm and comfortable atmosphere with wireless, and they offered to provide space, with a kitchen, to Jhamtse Gatsal for a token rent and promise of requesting catering for events at the government tourist lodge next door. Nirvana Café was put together very fast, for an investment of about $3,000 in equipment and supplies, in response to considerable pressure to open on October 17 in time for a tourist festival. It is, indeed, a very pleasing environment, and has been having live music on Saturday evenings.
All proceeds go to Jhamtse Gatsal. I think the café has a good chance of becoming profitable if the quality can be kept up. It is utterly unique in this town, where there is a rapidly increasing population of people who have been “outside,” who have developed a taste for coffee, have enjoyed cafes elsewhere, who have some disposable income, and who will enjoy having one place to gather in the evening that is warm and that has wireless. This requires a good, “permanent” manager, which we don’t yet have. I’m spending a good deal of time preparing things like menus, invitations to special constituencies, and posters with a schedule of events. I expect to be a regular patron, as well!
It now looks like the café may become profitable in an unexpected way. Twice in two weeks western tourists have appeared at the café, become curious about Jhamtse Gatsal, come for a visit of a few days, and fallen in love with Jhamtse Gatsal. One of the visitors said, as she was leaving, that she’d like to become a sponsor. (She also wants to pay to have the very gentle and friendly mother dog with 5 puppies altered so she can be a long-term pet for the children without increasing the canine population each year.) The other visitor quickly decided that he wants to stay on as a volunteer, and his sister has now agreed to sponsor one of our children. Sponsorship is normally at the rate of $400/year, and the goal is to have 3 sponsors for each child, making up the $1,200 cost for one child for a year. “It takes a family to support a child.”