Thank you so much to the many clients and friends who sent emails, LinkedIn posts, Facebook posts, and phone calls. How did you all know how profoundly this tragedy in Nepal, in Kathmandu, in the Himalaya, and on Everest would have affected me, and how much your caring comments and concern would mean to me?
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Tragedy in Nepal
On Friday, April 18, 2014 a massive avalanche killed 16 Sherpas on Everest. That was the worst disaster in Everest’s history. Little did we know that just one year later a much worse disaster would devastate Nepal, Everest, and the Himalaya. And then on October 15, 2014 terrible avalanches killed at least 20 trekkers in the Himalaya, particularly on the Annapurna Circuit trek.
But the earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 is a human tragedy beyond our imagination.
The official count of those who died in the tragedy now stands at over 8,000, but it is likely that it could be well over 10,000 as new information of bodies uncovered surface. Villages that are mostly inaccessible are only now being reached, and the news in many cases is tragic.
My friend, Ram Pahari, proprietor of Himalaya Journeys writes that his family is fine, except a grandpa in his family’s remote village who died after several days from his injuries. Most of the people in his village were working in the fields, anbd fortunately the earthquake struck in the middle of the day. But barely a building in his village is standing, and nowhere to shelter from the rain – the monsoons are starting about now – since all the buildings are unsafe or collapsed. No water, food, shelter, sanitation.
And that is the story throughout Nepal.
Second Eartquake Hits Naamche Bazaaar
And then a second earthquake hit, with the epicenter at Naamche Bazaar, a village I have visited several times on my way to Everest and back. I stayed with Mr. Khamal in the Khamal Tea House. Mr. Khamal is featured prominently in my book, Everest! A Trek to Base Camp and Back. I took him a copy of the book in 2013 on my way to Everest, and I became quite a celebrity among the other trekkers and the locals having published this book. But Mr. Khamal was an even bigger celebrity being in my book!
All my attempts to contact Mr. Khamal after the second earthquake have been unsuccessful. I have no idea if he, his family, and his lodge survived.With Mr. Khamal in the Khamal Tea House. Mr. Khamal proudly displays his copy of my book, November 2013
With my fellow trekkers in the Khumalo Teahouse. Mr. Khumalo had just presented us with prayer shawls to commemorate our safe return from Everest Base Camp, November 2013
I have been in a stupor, a state of despair since the first earthquake. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering in a country where there already was so much deprivation.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
The need in Nepal is great. According to authorities the two earthquakes for the most part decimated a year’s gross national product. Money has been contributed and help has been arriving in droves. But the real need will be over the next two or three years or longer, as an already impoverished country labor to rebuild. I have no doubt that these wonderful people will eventually rebuild their lives, but it will take time and a lot of money. I have been working with The Maya Sherpa Project since 2011. My book, Everest!, A trek to Base Camp and Back has supported this organization with profits from the book and donations from folks who have received or purchased my book. I know the people on the ground in Nepal, and trust my friend Pattie Moon who founded The Maya Sherpa Project. I know every dollar contributed will make its way to a needy family or a Nepali person in distress.
I quote from The Maya Sherpa Project’s website:
Here is what we know and suggest we can do to help, with your assistance.
The United Nations estimates that as many as eight million of Nepal’s 28 million people have had their lives disrupted by the earthquake. Over 1.4 million people need food assistance, and tens of thousands are thought to have been left homeless. There are many large, international aid organizations doing tremendous work on the front line, in providing the immediate and basic needs such as food, water and shelter at this most emergent time. If you are interested in contributing to this early stage of relief, please consider contributing to The American Himalayan Foundation.
However, we understand many of you would like to make a more direct impact in this recovery effort. We, too, have this in mind as we look at the needs of our Nepali family and friends. Our first-hand communication with those in Kathmandu and in the outlying mountain villages indicates that there will be ongoing needs for an extensive period of time. In particular, assistance with housing, medicine and daily essentials during the upcoming monsoon season is of considerable concern. And then the compelling rebuilding phase of recovery. The Maya Sherpa Project can’t solve the large scale recovery issues in Nepal, but we have the capability, through your support, to assist those Nepali and Sherpa friends we know and currently serve. And then, in turn, these souls can support their neighbors, family and villages more fully.
In this spirit, we have created a donation based fund that will provide direct support to our Nepali and Sherpa friends and their villages. All funds, supplies and equipment will go directly to support of recovery efforts with the assistance of our Maya Sherpa managers that live and work in these villages on our behalf.
End of Maya Sherpa Website Quote
Making a Difference in the Lives of the Victims
With the details unfolding and more tragedy coming to light, the human tragedy of the people of Nepal who perished and the difficulties their families will now face, are becoming clearer each day. Please consider sending a small contribution to the Maya Sherpa Project. The Maya Sherpa Project (MSP) has now set up a special fund – Donating online is easy – just click on the button below. Any amount is appreciated. No amount is too small. Just do it!
How fragile life in that extreme remote, beautiful, spiritual, but dangerous part of the world! But how happy the spirit of the Sherpa people and the other ethnic groups of Nepal. That is what attracted me to the work that Pattie Moon – Maya Sherpa Project (MSP) is doing – taking care of the families and children of these gentle folks. One person at a time. On the ground, where we know that each dollar contributed reaches a person or a family.
Gaiety of Spirit: Pushed From Your Own Heart
Patti Moon introduced me to a book about the Sherpa nation. I particularly appreciated it after returning from several weeks, day after day in the mountains, with these wonderful people. The book is Gaiety of Spirit: The Sherpas of Everest. I would highly recommend it if you want to learn about the Sherpa people and their resilience in a harsh world.
On the trail on the way to Everest I came across a person soliciting small contributions from trekkers. I pulls on my heartstrings every time I read this sign and the closing plea, “… because people must do this thing which are pushed from your own heart.”
Thank you for considering helping the people of Nepal rebuild their lives and their country.
My previous Everest Blogs
Tragedy on Everest – My own experience
Click on the YouTube link to go directly to the documentary video: Everest! A Trek to Base Camp and Back 2011 (HD 1080i) (00:49:00)
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