All updates in Nepal UTC+05:45
19:00 After a long ride we’ve stopped at Narayangarh. It’s been an exhausting but rewarding day. Pictures and video will be online soon.
14:04 the bus left a few minutes ago and typically Nepali-style it’s completely packed. As we drive through the various villages every other house shows cracks or damage.
10:35 We’ve left Shiva’s place after having breakfast and are now heading to the bus station… which is two hours from here. On the way we encounter destroyed houses and villagers thanking us.
9:27 We’ve officially ended now. The local school teacher gave a speech and we received a blessing from an elder.
9:14 The proces is out of our hands now, it’s clear the villagers know best what needs to happen with the supplies.
9:12 All the tents and most of the blankets have been distributed. The rest of the blankets will be taken to the to the next ward by the villagers (the total village consists of 9 wards) and they will distribute them among themselves.
8:00 distribution has started and it’s a surprisingly smooth proces. Someone with a list calls out a family name and a member of that family comes in to collect their package.
7:28 Back at the school there’s a big turnout. The village elders are deciding how the goods can best be distributed.
6:25 We slept in till quarter past six. Shadab and Shiva felt an aftershock at 2:00 AM, but I slept right through it. Distribution starts at 7:00.
Sunday May 17th (Nepal UTC+05:45)
20:50 despite losing virtually everything they had, Shiva’s family gave us a warm and hospitable welcome and made us a delicious meal. There are no lights here in the mountains and it’s pitch black by now. We’re off to bed.
18:37 The villagers gave us a tour through the village. The damage is worse than could be seen from the top. We’re staying at Shiva’s place tonight. His house got destroyed in the earthquake so we’ll be sleeping under a tent.
17:51 the supplies have been stored in the old school building. Tonight a couple of villagers will guard the goods and tomorrow distribution begins.
16:48 we’ve finally arrived in Dhawa. Most houses have either been damaged or destroyed. It just started raining so we have to hurry to store the supplies.
16:00 according to the villager who’s in the truck with us, it’s another 45 minutes.i would lijke to describe the landscape but the cover is down to keep the dust out.
15:15 in the back of the truck experiencing the bumpiest trip of our lives. A storm seems to be coming on, we should reach dhawa in 45 minutes.
13:24 we’ve finally left for Dhawa. We should reach the place in two and a halve hours. As usual, things take a lot longer than initially was planned.
11:26 we’ve just met up with Shiva and a few other villagers. Shadab ans Shubhankar have arrived as well. In the next hour we will try to get official permission from the chief district officer to take the goods up to Dhawa.
06:06 another eartquake. It resulted in little more than a gentle rocking of the truck, but the neighbour did turn his radio off because of it.
05:21 our neighbour decided to turn on the radio to maximum volume..
Saturday May 16th (Nepal UTC+05:45)
22:32 finally getting to bed after a long first day. Shadab and shubhankar will join us in the morning.
20:51 mini-earthquake just now. I barely felt it but the Gorkha people – who are understandably a lot more sensitive – all started screaming for a second.
20:13 we’ve decided to turn the truck into a camp and sleep in there tonight. I’m so happy right now that we’re carrying tents and blankets and not plumbing supplies.
19:45 arrived at our destination for tonight (it’s already completely dark). Unfortunately most hotels are wrecked by the earthquake, looking for a solution right now.
19:07 we’ve entered Gorkha, the first damaged houses have been spotted
17:45 it’s getting dark and it has become clear we won’t reach Dhawa today, so we’ll settle for Gorkha bazar. Luckily the driver is paid to get the goods to Dhawa and not per day
16:40 we’ve left the plains behind and have entered the beautifull green Himalayan mountain range. The frst signs of the earthquake become visible: some debris has been cleared from the roads.
15:05 finally on our way to gorkha. I’m in the truck with the driver and a nepalese guy from the NGO. Shadab and shubhankar are taking a local bus.
14:00 we all meet at Archit (the businessman who got us the blankets) at the last minute a new letter with permissions needs to be drafted.
09:30 Shadab is at the indian border trying to get the blankets into Nepal. We have all the necessary paperwork but there are a lot of other trucks and the border bureaucracy isn’t helping either.
08:00 a call from Shadab telling us the driver is one hour late.
Friday May 15th (Nepal UTC+05:45)
Great news! Today we received a donation of a 100 tents for one of our next missions.
Yme will buy relief materials tomorrow in Nepal and then go to a small town in Ghurka called Dhawa. Dhawa was completely destroyed by the earthquake. With the money you donated we will be able to bring aid to all the families in the village.
This is the story Shadab sent us last night. He has visited some of the destroyed villages and helped out about 30 families. Shadab Khan is a student from India who currently studies medicine in Nepal. Read his story.For a person who’s been residing in Nepal for the past four years, I was ironically across the border in India when the earthquake struck. Since we were relatively far off the epicentre of the quake, my initial assessment was that it was only a mild tremor that Nepal and this area in general is subjected to from time to time, due to it’s location above the seismically active tectonic plates. I don’t think i’ll ever make a more inaccurate judgement ever. The first signs of a major disaster having happened was when i crossed the border back into Nepal and i received a call from my folks back home who were in a state of total hysteria. As soon as i hung up on them, my screen beamed again to show my sister calling from Pittsburgh. It was 2pm in the afternoon here, she should be fast asleep by all rights. I assured her too, but something was amiss; it was obvious by the tone of voices around me. soon enough telephones lines began to jam and vehicles began piling up on the roads as people rushed to watch the news on television in nearby shops or to discuss in general with anyone who had something to say. The magnitude of the tragedy was lost on nobody by then and this was only the beginning.
Shadab also sent us some photographs he took over the past couple of days.
The first donations have come in, thank you so much. We’ve also been offered help and expertise by a few people and got some great tips. Yme is trying to change his visa so he can go back into Nepal.