Written by Celine Zhang

The Suspension Bridge to Namche Bazarr 

The Suspension Bridge to Namche Bazarr 

Last Tuesday, the Eyes4Everest Committee gathered to chat about why we do what we do. Everything worth doing takes a lot of hard work, grit and determination - whether it be climbing a mountain, achieving new personal goals or crafting new trips and teams for our Eyes4Everest mission. Shaun let me know in a recent email that he was “working really hard, like possessed like a crazy person hard”.

Your values are what matter most to you. They can morph and change with time and experience.

They act as a compass to determine if something will be a good fit in your life. They are like a navigation system, guiding and leading us.

Our values gives us purpose in what we do.

We posed these questions to each other and we all had something different to share. Our answers have been shortened for easy reading.


What are your values?

  • Shaun: Using my time wisely to do the things I enjoy.

  • Jenny: Maintaining good health and making life simpler.

  • Joe: I enjoy teaching and practicing optometry, as well as building relationships.

  • Grace: Compassion - helping others within your means even if they can’t return the favour, Empathy - trying to be less selfish, Integrity - being able to do right by yourself and others

  • Celine: Optimism and making sure everyone is happy and taken care of


Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

  • Shaun: Trekking around the world, climbing a few peaks and if God willing, be good enough to climb Everest. Spreading E4E to other mountain communities in need of primary eyecare

  • Celine: Married with children and growing my knowledge of optometry. I’d love to help create systems to deliver efficient paediatric eyecare.

  • Jenny: I’d like to simplify my possessions and take care of family and people I care about.

  • Joe: Practicing optometry, teaching, and maybe raising a family.

  • Grace: Working towards being financially free so I can pursue my passions, be flexible with my time and help others.  

2017 Team at Everest Base Camp

2017 Team at Everest Base Camp

What are the intrinsic motivators that wake you up in the morning?

  • Shaun: Awareness that time is ticking. If I do not plan and act now, I will deny myself the life I want in the future. Knowing everything I do with E4E and Behavioural Optometry is an expression of my values and beliefs.

  • Celine: A great cup of tea, my dog and the great people around me

  • Jenny: Morning runs set a great tone for the rest of my day. I want to travel more so it is important to keep fit.

  • Joe: To do good in world and do my job well.

  • Grace: I like to be an achiever. I get up in the morning, see what needs to be done and do it. Thinking positive.


What do you think is missing in your lives and the lives of people these days? 

  • Shaun: People have made themselves too busy to appreciate what they have. They are unhappy and buy things, which only give them a temporary buzz

  • Celine: Meaningful face-to-face human connection. Technology has permeated our lives. Sometimes we just need to step back and acknowledge each other without the interruption of checking or phones or computers. This is one of the reasons I love to hike - no cell connection = no Facebook browsing

  • Jenny: Heart to heart connection. It’s harder for people to build deep relationships. These things used to happen spontaneously but we are more distracted these days.  People don’t show their true selves anymore.

  • Joe: Purpose. I feel automation is a reason why people can’t see value in what they do. A certain listlessness and disengagement seems to arise from that.

  • Grace: Compassion is the key to connecting with others. We need to help each other to bring joy to ourselves. Connection is more important than being right. Optometrists are looking for values in the profession and give back to community who need it most.  


What are Eyes4Everest’s values to you?

  • Celine: Service to others, compassion and the spirit of adventure

  • Jenny: Sustainability is the basis of leaving a legacy. Otherwise it’ll die

  • Joe: Purpose and Simplicity. Your life is simplified to completing a mission and climbing a mountain.

  • Grace: Like my values. All of us believe in compassion and integrity.

Patients waiting to be tested at Monjo 

Patients waiting to be tested at Monjo 


Eyes4Everest is about...


Treating Preventable Blindness by delivering primary eyecare
Contributing your skills and your heart to enrich the lives of others
Create sustainable eyecare involving Sherpa or Nepalese optometrists
The spirit of adventure to discover what one is physically and mentally capable

Our work in E4E is an expression of who we are and what we value. We sow the seeds of time and effort so we can grow our efforts to provide primary eyecare to the mountain communities in Nepal. We nurture sustainability by working with Nepalese optometrists.

What are your values? Maybe we can’t live our values out 100% of the time, but we all plan to try.

Join us on a journey to create sustainable eyecare in  Nepal =D

We’re always so grateful for volunteers. 


Our Current Committee (August 2018)

  • Vice President Operations and Marketing: Shaun Chang
  • Director of Finance: Grace Wee
  • Director of Administration: Jenny Hsieh
  • Lead Generation Manager: Celine Zhang
  • Lead Conversion Manager: Joe Wang
  • Marketing Strategies Manager: Tali Weinberg
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