I visited Nepal twice in 2012 and 2013 and I simply fell in love with the tiny nation. It feels like my other home. Like so many others my trips to Nepal have been for trekking- Everest Base Camp in 2012 and Annapurna Circuit in 2013. I was able to complete the EBC trek and I had to give up the Annapurna Circuit Trek due to bad weather. In between these two trips I feel head over heel in love with Nepal. It is so difficult to believe that Nepal Earthquake is a reality now and the nation is facing such a tough time.
Yesterday I did not feel the tremors at all. My husband asked me if I felt the quake to which my reply was a firm no. But whenever we have felt minor shakes, I know somewhere else it would be bad! After a few minutes thanks to Twitter I realized the epicenter was close to Kathmandu and the magnitude severe- 7.9 on richter scale. Today I was at my sister’s place. As she lives in a high rise and I was sitting on the bed, I could feel the effects of the aftershocks which were once again centered in Nepal at 6.7 on the richter scale. We all tumbled out of the building when the tremors were felt. If it feels so scary with minor shocks I can only imagine how bad it would be in the affected areas.
The next question was what could I could? Of course it is tiny, miniscule but I wanted to donate immediately. After mulling over it for a while I decided to donate to PMNRF (Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund) as India announced immediate aid to Nepal. Even though the website says the money will not be used for foreign calamities I still decided to donate to them, hoping it would be of benefit indirectly.
In the long run, a few months after the media attention would have moved elsewhere, I sincerely hope I would be able to volunteer in Nepal. This is more of a wish than anything else with a thousand logistical issues, but I hope I will be able to pull it through. I feel very close to Nepal. I have a schoolmate there, I remember people from my trekking agency. They all are safe. But my heart goes out to the people of this fabulous nation, may they recover fast and gain peace.