Monday, April 27, 2015

First Response After the April 25, 2015 Earthquake

I am so sorry to have had this much time lapse before I respond to your outpouring of inquiries and prayers after the earthquake in Nepal.  Peter and I were literally on our way to Bhutan to visit Ben when it all occurred and didn't get the news until about 24 hours after it happened.  Even now on Monday evening we are feeling significant aftershocks here in Bhutan.

As the news has been reporting, the Kathmandu valley has been devastated and then beyond that the damage has been quite discriminating.  In the mountains of the Everest region, Lukla was spared almost completely while Chaurikharka's damage was widespread throughout the village.  Thankfully, no lives were lost as the quake hit during the day when people were out of their houses working.  And typically, the month of April has been a holiday time for the school so I don't think it was even in session.  Most of the villagers have set up makeshift tents in their fields as the aftershocks continue and fear abounds.  And needless to say, almost every family is looking at a complete loss to their homes, including Karsang.  Dawa's house suffered some damage through the loss of solar power, windows blown out and a water collection tank gone, but his was one of the few houses in the village that was built to be “earthquake proof”.

Many of you have been asking about contributing to a fund that will help rebuild the village and any damage that the school will have suffered.  There are many international relief organizations that I am sure are in overdrive to respond but I can promise you none of that money will be used outside of the Kathmandu valley.  And of course home insurance of any kind is nonexistent!

There is absolutely NO PRESSURE for anyone to respond, but to those of you who are inquiring about sending in relief aid, please know that your donations will be directly delivered to Chaurikharka and it's recipients. Perhaps the easiest way to give would be to call the Marion Institute at 508.748.0816 and contribute through a credit card, earmarking The Himalayan Project.   And of course it will be tax deductible.   Peter and I are due to arrive in Nepal on May 6th and if this is at all possible, we still plan to go.

Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.  Needless to say, despair is building through stiff upper lips as a lifetime of hard work has disappeared in an instant and the precariousness of security has become a reality!

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