And it is and it will be for a long time to come. But that is not stopping thousands of people from rolling up their sleeves, pulling out their wallets, and tackling the problems head on. We’ve all read about it. We’ve all seen the heart-wrenching pictures. We’ve cried for those who are lost and for the beautiful relics of thousands of years of history that now lay in ruin. If we look at the big picture it seems hopeless. Countless people homeless, mountainsides still crumbling, roads destroyed by avalanches leaving whole villages isolated, a viable tourist industry crippled, cherished landmarks no more. But we don’t do that. We take each day as it comes as Nepal starts to rebuild.
I have many friends in Nepal. I’ve often said that it is my Shangri La. Fortunately, so far, nobody I’ve worked with or trekked with has died, but many have lost their homes. I received an email and photo from Pasang Lama, a man who works at the Shechen Guest House in Boudhanath. There was such sadness in his face that I hardly recognized him. He said his family was alive, but his house was gone. That was all he said. The picture says the rest.
Pasang is a man I talk and laugh with every year. He has a lovely family and I have never seen him without a huge grin on his face.
Here he is with his family last December.
Cary and I climbed in the Langtang region of Nepal in 2012. We wandered through this valley and through the town of Langtang, which, as you can see, is beneath overhanging cliffs. Here is the area we remember.
This is the view looking up the valley towards Langtang Village. Our fear is that this already slumped mountain is what let go in the earthquake, destroying the entire village.
Here is a picture looking down the valley at the village.
The following photos tell you about the beauty of this formerly idyllic spot. Click on first photo to start slide show.
I met last December with a friend I have known since he was a young man in 1988, and who became the mayor of Dhulikhel, a small town not far from Kathmandu. In his time in office he spearheaded the building of a university, a highly-acclaimed hospital, extensive new homes and businesses, a sewage disposal plant, recreational facilities, and a water treatment facility. In other words, he and his fellow citizens transformed Dhulikhel!
B.P. has written an impassioned letter to me and other friends telling of the need for help at this time. The Dhulikhel Hospital, which he helped found, has been inundated with earthquake survivors during the past few weeks.
I urge all of you who wish to help to examine this and the other websites below to see which one you choose to support. I know that these are not huge organizations with high administrative costs. Your money will get to the people who need it.
Here on Whidbey Island we have a Tibetan Buddhist sangha led by Kilung Rinpoche, who has already collected donations through the Kilung Foundation. These funds will be directed to organizations in Nepal that are helping remote mountain villages, as well as those in need in Kathmandu.
The Nepal Youth Foundation is another very reputable and established organization that is dedicated to help all earthquake victims.
Finally, I have just heard from Jwalant Gurung, who runs Crystal Mountain Treks, the organization with whom Cary and I have trekked for years. Every spring Jwalant comes to the United States and takes a group up Mt. Rainier to raise money for Nepalese orphanages through his organization 3Summits. Now he is raising money to help rebuild the lives and homes of his fellow-Nepalese through a Crowdrise fundraiser.
Please get in touch with me if you have any questions.