On April 25th, 2015 an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 hit Nepal causing more than 7000 deaths and an immeasurable amount of injuries. The world watched in horror as reporters showed images of treasured UNESCO World Heritage sights in Kathmandu reduced to rubble and people sleeping on the street for either fear of aftershocks or simply had no home to go back to.
As we watched the coverage of this massive earthquake that triggered two avalanches, one of which was on Mt. Everest, we remembered our visit to Nepal only a few years prior. Suddenly, we began looking through pictures remembering locations we had visited and the Nepalese people we had met, hoping that each and every one of them is ok.
During our Nepalese journey we observed several qualities of the people of Nepal that we feel will help the country rebuild.
During our Nepalese trip we encountered several spiritual leaders of the community, including Buddhist monks of varying schools as well as Suffis, a sect whose members take on the pain and suffering of society. We have no doubt that these leaders will carry the people of Nepal through this very trying time.
Even during the short time we stayed in Nepal we witnessed many random acts of compassion. Not only were people very kind to us by helping us find Asan Market, for example, and by being patient with our lack of Nepali, but we also witnessed kindness towards others:
Strength and Determination
One of the first things we noticed about the Nepalese was how physically strong they are. We observed numerous men and women carrying over-sized and heavy loads long distances.
We also remembered an elderly woman climbing the many steps up to Swayambhunath Temple (commonly known to Westerners as “Monkey Temple”) to pray, despite having to stop several times due to exhaustion and most likely aching muscles. We believe it is this type of perseverance that has kept the country going in the wake of the earthquake.
We wish Nepal continued strength and determination, abundant compassion and great leadership during the reconstruction of this wonderful country.