My heart is aching for Nepal in the aftermath of this weekend’s devastating earthquake. As badly as I wanna hop a plane and help out with rescue efforts, I know that an untrained volunteer like myself would only get in the way. What Nepal needs is money. Please please PLEASE donate what you can.
This time five years ago, I was on my way to Nepal. Although the country was crippled by a national Maoist demonstration for the majority of my time there in 2010, what I remember most about Nepal is the kindness of the people, the beauty of its land and the odd duality of such calming energy in the midst of chaos. That calming energy…it was really something. Click here to read more about how that calming energy impacted my travels in Kathmandu and Pokhara.
Looking back on my photos of Nepal, I can’t help but wonder: did these people survive? The children I spent time with in Kathmandu – are they ok? My eyes have been in a constant watery state thinking about them and the countless others who’ve been impacted by this tragedy. Again, please help them. Please donate.
It’s with hope and a heavy heart that I share these photos I took in Nepal during better times:
The view from Swayambhunath aka Monkey Temple
Kathmandu’s Thamel Neighborhood
Monkey at Monkey Temple
Craft jewelry shopkeepers in Thamel where I bought my absolute favorite necklace in the entire world
Just your ordinary calf hanging out at your ordinary street corner
Uphill goods transport
Lady smiling with baby
Saddhus and me at Durbar Square
Smiles and horseplay on the streets of Kathmandu
My first Nepalese meal
Sitting Saddhu at Durbar Square
Child playing in backyard
View from covered rickshaw on streets of Kathmandu
One of many, many temples
More prayer wheels, properly spun clockwise
Lady with smiling toddler
Sanskrit and prayer flags on the way to Monkey Temple
Walking around Thamel
Lady at prayer wheel
A Kathmandu Market
The very very very steep steps up to Monkey Temple
Handicrafts shopkeeper in Kathmandu
Family at Monkey Temple
Saddhu walking…and collecting your rupees
Child at Monkey Temple
My friend Chandra getting chatted up by the local boys
I will never forget the moment I laid eyes on this street food vendor and got my first taste of the incomparable deliciousness of PANI PURI. Seriously. SO good. My favorite food in all of Nepal, as well as India.
And lastly, below is a series of photos from my most heart-warming experience in Kathmandu. While on a bus, I met a friendly group of rugby players from Hong Kong who had come out to support The Umbrella Foundation, a family-first, children’s charity NGO. I had the privilege of joining them that afternoon at the local orphanage for a day of mini-rugby. The joy on those children’s faces, I will never forget!
The girls got to play too, of course! They were shy, but also had a great time.
So many gigantic smiles and so much joy. It was an incredible day.
GOOD NEWS: Today I reached out to my friends Andrew and Horse, and learned that the children are safe. Here is an update from The Umbrella Foundation’s Facebook Page, April 28, 2015:
Dear all, a brief update from Kathmandu. We are all okay and so are our children in the homes. It is still unsafe to move back into the homes so we are still camping outside. We have water for another couple days and food for another week. Our first priorities are currently to find our children in Kathmandu (youths as well as reintegrated children) as well as our children in the most affected villages (in Gorkha, Dhading, Sindhupalchowk and Nuwakot). Unfortunately we have not yet been able to get through to most of them, though let’s hope this is only due to the lack of electricity. Tomorrow our child protection team are going into the camps in Kathmandu – some of them housing 20,000 children – to register the children who are their unaccompanied by an adult or who are separated from their families in order to take action and hopefully trace their families. We do what we can and are extremely grateful for your mental and financial support! Thank you!
My personal thanks to the Vandal’s Rugby Team and The Umbrella Foundation for the memories in Nepal and for the work that you do.
Please give what you can! Donations can be made here.