Have you ever, in an instant, lost everything you’ve worked so hard for?
We’ve all heard about the recent earthquake in Nepal. Charities around the world were getting involved to help those in need but as is often the case, that help is often too little and too short lived for those who need it. Luckily, the UN is still working hard to help those affected, but their help gets dispersed among all those in need – and we want to help get more to the individuals close to us who need it.
If you’ve been keeping up with my blog, or just read an article in passing, you know that I recently went to Nepal with some friends to trek to Everest Base Camp. I was inspired years ago after reading Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and promised myself that I would one day get to base camp.
I had been writing a day by day account of our trek, and unfortunately shortly after I posted my account of our day 3, Nepal experienced an incredibly horrific earthquake, which has killed over 8,000 people and leveled homes across the already poor country. I’ve paused on telling our tale as that was a very happy time, and it doesn’t seem right to continue while the people we met are going through a terrible struggle.
The trip was life changing – the Himalayas are inspiring, the people we met along the way were incredible, and the way they live is always eye opening. Traveling to other countries does a great job of helping you appreciate all that you have, and after this latest tragedy, that is stronger than ever.
After weeks of not being able to reach out friend and guide, Gyanu, we finally heard back from him this last week. Gyanu’s family lives in the region of Gorkha, which is where the epicenter of the first earthquake was located. He spends much of his time working in Kathmandu, and it normally takes him a 5-6 hour bus ride, followed by 5-6 hours of walking, just to get home to his wife and children – now with roads less accessible, this is an even more difficult trip. Gyanu is safe but was injured twice, and sadly his entire home was destroyed. Reports have said that 90% of structures in the Gorkha region were destroyed, leaving the locals living huddled under tarps. Even back in Kathmandu, people are still too afraid to be inside and have set up makeshift structures outside. Monsoon season is a less than a month away. They need help.
Gyanu told us that in the weeks directly after the earthquake, it was very hard to find food, but now people are slowly starting to work again so there are resources available, if you have money to buy them…an hour and a half walk away. In many of these small mountain towns, there are no cars to drive and get the things you need – instead, you walk, and you carry what you can. For those of us with 3 grocery stores within a mile radius, that’s hard to comprehend. Charities have brought them things like a few kilos of rice and noodles, but that is not nearly enough substance to survive on.
Aside from the immediate needs for food and supplies to rebuild, with last year’s Avalanche and this year’s earthquake, the season of tourism will most certainly be affected, and therefore Gyanu’s livelihood.
We want to help, and we’re reaching out to others like you to help as well. Gyanu is such a giving and loving person, hard-working, spiritual. Always happy, always making sure along our trek that we were completely taken care of and enjoying ourselves. He is now struggling to survive and take care of his family, and we want to get him some financial help, and the encouragement that would come along with it.
So, today, we ask that if you are able to donate anything to help, that you join us in giving to those affected by this terrible tragedy, and that we don’t forget that although Nepal is no longer front page in the news, their battle with survival and rebuilding is far from over. If you are only able to donate $5, remember that if 20 people donated only $5, that would be $100 which in Nepal can go far, so anything helps! We’ve set up a page on YouCaring.com to help Gyanu and his family and friends, so click the link and please give what you can!