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Pray For Nepal

Written By: jipp - Apr• 28•15

I’m so shocked and saddened by what happened to Nepal – which is for me one of the most amazing countries that I’ve ever been to. The powerful earth-quake of 7.8 magnitude with the epicenter located somewhere between Lamjung and Gorkha District rippled through most of Nepal and part of India and even China. Up until now, the estimated number of casualties had shot up to almost 4000 people with so many others left injured, many more are homeless and desperate for food.

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Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/nepal-powerful-earthquake-aftershocks-death-toll-passes-2200/

Even more saddening is the fact that most of the historical places in Kathmandu – of which some are UNESCO World Heritage Sites – are so badly damaged that there is no way they can ever be restored back to their original settings ever again. The stupa of Boudhanath was reduced to rubble. I remember having my lunch at one of the restaurants that overlooks the gigantic stupa and looking at the eyes of the Buddha and finding that they were quite hypnotic that I had to look away. I can’t believe that there are now gone.

Then the Durbar Squares. I remember marching my way up one of the temples while my travel buddy Ulai tried to get the best shot under my strict instructions. I looked at the picture this morning and that very temple was reduced to rubble and dust too. Then the Pashupatinath Temple where I spent quite a bit of time witnessing with my very own eyes how they purified a dead body with water from the river and later set it ablaze. The eerie smell and the thick and smoldering smoke that ensnared the whole area stayed in my system for quite a long long time. I remember rushing myself to a shower the moment I returned to the hotel room in Thamel area. Most of the buildings at the temple had to bow to the powerful magnitude of the earth-quake and collapsed to the ground too.

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Durbar Squares after the earthquake

Then the Monkey Temple – which is my pick of my favorite place in Kathmandu. I remember walking up the stairs from the swimming pool where monkeys do actually swim in – to the ancient temple on top of the hill where I could see the whole of Kathmandu city beyond the colorful streamers that centered to the top of the stupa. A friend of mine twittered to me a picture of Monkey Temple before and after the disaster and it was so heart-wrenching to see quite a major part of the buildings had collapsed too. There was a little bit of relief that the stupa had remained standing though.

Of course the saddest part is the suffering that the people of Nepal have to go through. When you travel to a country and you spend quite a bit of time with the people there, being among them and talking to them, you’ll develop some kind of what I’d call human-to-human bonding with them. People that you see there, people that you run into and say hi to, and they’ll hi back with the warmest smiles that you’ll probably ever see, they are the people that make you feel so welcomed and happy even in such a foreign land.

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When I trekked to the Annapurna Based Camp, quite every now and then I’d bump into a group of children. Some of them are quite shy and some are quite bold – even asking for sweets and money but it doesn’t really matter because it is the tourists like us that spoiled them – if spoiled is even the correct word to describe it. I’d always tell my trekking buddies that one of these children could be the President of Nepal one day. I mean, you really get to develop some kind of care and concern for these people and what may lie ahead before them in the future. Unfortunately, quite more often than not, you’ll bring that with you when you return home.

Which is why – when I heard about the earthquake in Nepal, and the scale of devastation that it caused, I can’t help but feeling so concerned and worried and above all sorry for them. The faces of people especially the children that I had talked to, took pictures with and even made jokes with would come to me and I can’t help but wondering how they are doing now and how badly affected they are by the earth-quake. I think that happens quite to most travelers which is why they are usually the first ones to react to whatever disaster that happens to a country especially those that they’ve already traveled to. It is just the bonding that they developed with the people while traveling to these countries.

As for now, I can only pray for the people of Nepal – for their strength to pull through this very challenging time, and for their rise back to normalcy. It’s not going to be easy but we are talking about a country that has in the past gone through so many difficulties and hard times. I have a full confidence in the people of Nepal. Amen.

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One Comment

  1. thomas says:

    So sad to see so much destroyed and so much suffering.

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