Nepal, a tiny country located in the Himalayas and sandwiched between India and Tibet, was one of our most memorable destinations this year. This place touched our hearts, with its giant mountains, ancient architecture, and some of the friendliest people we met.
We learned about the devastating news about the earthquake in Nepal yesterday and our hearts go out to all of those who have died, are injured, or who have lost loved ones in this disaster. Immediately upon hearing the news, Tim and I were talking about our options for helping out those in need. Our first inclination was to jump on a plane back to Nepal, scrapping the next several weeks of travel we have had planned. But having been in Nepal for a month, we know how hard it can be to move around and live there even under the best of circumstances. Taking two children into Kathmandu without electricity, clean water, and fresh food is not a smart idea.
Tim raised the idea of having just myself fly back to Kathmandu. Maybe with my orthopedic surgery experience I could be useful. I have no disaster training, but I am familiar with Kathmandu and I have a desire to help out in any way that I can. After much discussion, we decided that right now our money would be more useful than my presence. I would be yet another person in demand of a place to sleep, food, and clean water. I don’t mind the hardships that would come from volunteering but I want to make sure that my presence would really be beneficial. So for now, I will be staying with my family. But my heart and Tim’s heart are in Nepal right now, hoping that as disaster teams arrive in the country, conditions will begin to improve for the Nepali people.
We have been watching the drama unfold through the internet, horrified by the destruction of some of Nepal’s most important landmarks, bodies being pulled from the rubble, and the scenes of Everest Base Camp flattened by the avalanches. Nepal has had a very rough twelve months, with avalanches last spring that took the lives of 16 sherpas, the worst disaster on record before this. In October 2014, we were in Pokhara during the storm that brought heavy snows to the Annapurna region, claiming more lives there. And now this. Nepal has really been dealt some bad luck during the past year.
When we were in Nepal, little did we know that some of the buildings and monuments we visited would become the scene for one of the worst natural disasters in 2015. Here are some before and after pictures showing the destruction. The before photos are ours and the after photos I have taken off of the internet.
How Can I Help?
There are numerous organizations offering aid to Nepal.
cnn.com has a long list of organizations that are accepting donations.
American Red Cross. The American Red Cross is working with the Nepal Red Cross Society, the frontrunner in providing relief to Nepal. This is the organization we donated to. In the drop down list, select “Nepal Earthquake Relief.”
UNICEF is an organization that works to save and protect the world’s children.
CARE is providing aid by providing food, shelter, and fresh water to those in need.
International Medical Corps is providing medical assistance, antibiotics, and mobile medical units to Nepal.
Oxfam International is working to provide shelter, fresh food and water to the victims.
World Food Programme provides food donations to those in need.
We have never asked for donations before but we are now. Even as little as $10 dollars can make a difference. The people of Nepal are some of the friendliest we have met. Please do what you can to help this nation in need.
Tim, Julie, Tyler, and Kara