Saturday, May 23, 2015

One Month Later in Nepal


Tomorrow will mark one month since the first earthquake struck; I woke up to another aftershock this morning. There has not been a lot of relief for the people, rice, a blanket, some plastic tarps, a few sheets of aluminum and little more. Outside the village, I can see that several helicopters have been delivering goods to the people in more rural areas. They fly so low it can feel like an earthquake, thus traumatizing us anew several times a day. No one seems to understand why they have to fly so low. The food supply has not been seriously effected, yet. I do not know if I should be concerned in the long term, but have purchased a big bag of rice and a couple Kg. of organic coffee. It's important to prioritize.

Yesterday afternoon a wind storm came up and blew the tents away at our hilltop. Then it started raining. People had to scatter to make sure things didn't get blown away in the high winds. The wind was so strong a person could hardly stand up and both of my young men volunteers promptly went out to help. Although some of the tents stayed and the wind died down after about an hour or so, it was quite sad for the people who had nowhere to sleep.

When I woke up this morning I could see that my housekeeper's family had to stay elsewhere, which could have included my dining room or a bedroom. Many of my neighbors have been so traumatized they are too frightened to stay inside. It's so difficult for them. If it were me I'm sure I would have driven everyone crazy by now.

Many people are using sheets of aluminum to make little shelters. These shelters will help them survive the monsoon. There is a moratorium on building at this time. The government seems to be attempting some sort of building code.
This is the new aluminum shelter the childless couple and Birbhadur made together by sharing the aluminum we managed to get. One of the villagers connected to an NGO told me they had provided one piece of aluminum per person to 17 families in the village, but knowing I was helping 3 families he let me know they didn't get any aluminum. Of course I was happy to provide it for them. I got enough to help another family, too. That's when I bought the other two wheel barrows, with the help of a young man, Doug, from Sweden. 

Here's our fund raiser site: http://travelstarter.com/projects/nepal_earthquake_restoration_changunarayan_village__project/260 

We are also going to be doing a sweepstakes extravaganza and will give $10,000 trip to Nepal for next year, after the village is looking nice. It will be an all expense paid trip for 2 to Nepal, custom designed to the person's needs, but it will be basically 6 weeks of being treated like an honored guest and they will be able to do whatever they want to do here. If all goes well we will be able to have this village looking lovely by next April with the money this will bring. This contest will also provide Nepali, handcrafted gifts for participants to get the economy going and make it better for everyone. It's actually our first, annual sweepstakes. Next year I hope to help Shaku, another nearby village.