A year and a half ago, I (Nina) woke up with an idea about a workshop that went beyond business and photography. I wanted to ask questions. What is the meaning of success? Why do we seek to grow our businesses? Is it simply to make more money and build bigger houses? Is it to be the best? What if we went beyond ourselves? What if we sought to grow our businesses and build our wealth, not so we can have a more comfortable life, but so that we could give of our financial success, and help the poor and speak up for those without a voice? What would this world look like if more and more small business owners thought this way?
I have been to some amazing workshops, and I am SO thankful for them, because I believe all of them helped lead me to this place. I have always had an extreme love for the world beyond myself…I have always been fascinated by other cultures and landscapes. I have ached to serve the poor in all parts of the world. When I was 15, I spent almost 2 months in India, doing volunteer work. That’s where my heart was first captured by that piece of the world. When I was 25, I spent 4 months in Nepal, working with street children and elderly women that had been cast out by their own families. I never thought I could love a place as much as I loved India, but I was wrong. Nepal captured me…I wasn’t even expecting it, but somehow I was swept away. I fell in love with two people, named Gautam and Rekha, and they took me in and loved me. A connection and friendship was formed, and somehow I just knew that this connection would last a lifetime. When the idea of hosting a workshop in Nepal first came to me, I felt it was going to be quite impossible. It is so far away, and the logistics of planning a workshop from such a great distance seemed quite daunting. But I couldn’t help but feel that this was the path that had been laid before us. So we began to dream, and then we took the dream, and began to make real plans.
And here we are today…getting ready to leave for Nepal in just 2 weeks. Wes, myself, and our 4 year old twins are spending 5 weeks in Nepal. One week of that time will be spent with a group of individuals that have already brought tears to our eyes through their various stories of who they are, and why they want to attend the Beyond Workshop. We feel somehow that the workshop is going to impact us in more ways than we can imagine. I believe there will be divine encounters, and life-changing moments. We don’t know what that will all look like, but we go with expectant hearts.
The above photos are from a scouting trip I took back in July. Gautam and Rekha (the mother and father of 16 children) carted my friend Amanda and I all over Pokhara and Kathmandu. We ate momos, took photos, bartered at the market, and spent quality time with our dear Nepali friends. It was a beautiful time together, and I am so thankful we will be in their company again so very soon. I want our children to experience the world that I have, and to have their hearts set on fire for something beyond themselves.