I spent a total 39 days in Nepal, and only five days were prior to the Great Earthquake, and I was even interviewed by Flipboard for my relief efforts. The experience bred a number of emotions and challenges that, at the time, I was unable to process. I was in “go” mode. It was like an out of body experience. How can one decompress after providing relief for victims? more “How to decompress after providing relief for victims”
Kathmandu is a city with a lot of magic and a lot of tension. It is a big project to begin rebuilding Kathmandu after the Great Earthquake. Our final missions are cleaning 160 houses in the two villages (Machchheguan and Satungal) that neighbor the site to the future Kathmandu World Peace Pagoda. Our goal is to demolish the buildings that are cracked, collapsed, or irreparable then remove the rubble. Finally we would help the villagers build monsoon-proof temporary housing. more “Rebuilding Kathmandu after the Great Earthquake”
Our relief mission to Dhawa, Gorkha was a tough one. I learned an important lesson: Never drive in Nepal mountains without four wheel drive. But, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.
Currently there is no Nipponzan Myohoji (Japanese monastery) in Kathmandu, so we stayed at a beautiful Tibetan monastery. The monk there is a close friend of Sato’s. He has a smile as wide as the ocean and even kinder. Not to mention, he is an amazing cook! Apparently, tourists are not allowed to stay at the monastery. It is generally closed during the day and only open to followers for worship. I suppose our good karma was catching up to us, since we were accepted guests. We’ll need all the good karma we can get while planning three projects for Nepal relief.
Our first morning in Kathmandu, an earthquake woke us up at 5 a.m. We had a lot of work to do, packing for 350 families and being in a city literally shaking with fear added a new layer of complexity.
After a full day’s work, we were roughly halfway done. We would have to finish packing in the village and rely on help from the villagers. Since the area was quite desperate, we were a bit nervous as to how this drop off would be. There were stories of robberies on the road and restless villages tired of waiting for needed supplies. Who could blame them? more “Second Mission providing relief to 350 families in Goljung, Rasuwa”
Over the past few days, I’ve raised over $3,000 for our relief effort to Lamjung district in Nepal, bought and provided survival goods to eight small villages, and have collaborated with monks, Nepali locals, Indian shops, and local governments for this relief. My friends and family have been kind enough to call me a hero. However, the true heroes are you.
Yes, you reading this post, perhaps sharing it and donating to the cause. It s you who can make a bigger difference than I can. Truly. more “Delivering relief supplies to Lamjung, Nepal”
We, unfortunately, needed to leave India to renew Tiago’s visa. Information on how to go to Nepal from Dharamsala is quite rare, and many tour agencies will tell you that it’ll take two days to get there (Dharamsala to Delhi then Delhi to Gorkhapur then Gorkhapur to the border then to Kathmandu). Lo, there is an easier way, or rather a way to cross the India-Nepal border that doesn’t take two days.
After some research, I discovered that the nearest border crossing from Dharamsala is Banbassa Mahendranagar. I found an article on TripAdvisor that indicated that we could get a train from Pathankot to Bareilly and then a bus to the border (yes there is a local bus from Bareilly to the border despite what you read elsewhere). more “Dharamsala to Banbassa Mahendranagar border crossing from India to Nepal”
It’s been awhile since I’ve written here due to moving around a lot and lack of Internet. Most recently there was a 7.9 earthquake in Gorkha, Nepal about halfway between Kathmandu and Pokhara (the country’s two largest cities). The damage is exponential, razing buildings, homes, and world heritage sites to the ground. A lot of the Nepalese holy sites and history was demolished in minutes. The aftershocks continue to this day. more “Being in Nepal during the 7.9 earthquake 2015”