It is now about 48 hours after the quake that hit Nepal mid-day on Saturday. With just one or two exceptions we’ve heard from everyone we’ve tried to reach and everyone we know and have worked with over the years is accounted for and has weathered the tremble – although many are staying outside their homes in makeshift tent cities as recommended by the government as strong aftershocks are still rocking the region.
With the monsoon at the doorstep, aid organizations will be challenged with figuring out shelter, food and services for hundreds of thousands (more?) that are now homeless. That said, Nepalese people are caring, gracious and self-sufficient. They band together in good times and in bad and are rising to the occasion to help each other as they are able. So many stories are being told of food and water being provided at little or no cost, people are helping in any way they can. These are the people we are so fortunate to have come to know. I hope we will be able to determine meaningful ways to support their heroic efforts.
So many have gone to Nepal with Montview groups over the past 15 years, worked in different villages and known a variety of colleagues that I’ll try and summarize but with enough detail that you can feel assured your special people are accounted for!
NYF: We’ve heard from Som, Sajani and Olga. All their staff and “clients” (J/K Houses, Nutrition Home, AIDS Hostel, Kamlari girls) are shaken but fine. As you might imagine, Olga’s home continues as a refuge. Program staff and families are sleeping on the lawn and enormous pots of rice are keeping everyone fed. I can only imagine that she has created a mood of festivity even amidst the destruction outside. Olga voices concern about clean water since the filters require electricity.
Mary Ward Schools: The schools have been built in the recent past and I trust are in good condition. While we have not heard specifically, I’m certain Sajani would have notified us if there were any major problem. I appreciate that so many of you have had the kids as top priority!
Patan Hospital fared well. Jim Hecht forwarded a long letter from Dr Jay N Shah, director of the Patan Academy of Health Sciences. The hospital has undergone retrofitting over the past several years to provide earthquake-ready structural improvements and it appears the engineers did their job well. The hospital is continuing service to admitted patients, the maternity ward is open and they are serving those injured by the quake. One challenge is to keep all the peripheral operations such as food, water, laundry in operation. They are trying to address staff burn-out. They hope to have the hospital reopened for normal business by end of the week as they need the income stream. (Patan subsidizes services to poor with profit from their “full-service” care.)
Theresa Grover also heard from folks at Patan that they are okay.
Doug Jackson, president of Project Cure, has assured everyone at Patan Hospital that they are prepared to response as soon as they hear the word.
Dr.Fred Grover has heart that Srijana and all the “heart docs” are fine.
IDE: Internation Development Enterprises Country Director Luke Colavito was the first to be in touch. His staff is all accounted for and aside from one person who was injured on a motorcycle during the quake they are all in safe and sound. Working in remote villages they will be stretched to provide assistance to folks with less access that are more “off the radar” – just like they are when life is normal!
Namlo: The Facebook page says that thirteen homes in Sabhung have been lost but the rest of the village, water system and community buildings are intact. Yarmasing and Dhuskun, in Sindhupalchowk District which was hit very hard, have more damage – all homes damaged or destroyed and some deaths. I’m hoping for more news from Ashis and Madhav who are from Dhuskun.
Other friends and colleagues: Uttam Phuyal, formerly from the Kathmandu Guest House and now Hotel Moonlight, reports that he and his family are fine. I read reports that Thamel is almost completely undamaged. Tess went to Sherpas in Boulder yesterday to find out about our friends in Kathmandu. Chhongba’s son was there working and reports that everyone is okay – just living outside in tents – probably easier for them than many as they have the equipment and experience! Nirmala Gyawali and Mahalaxmi have checked in on Facebook. Janet Hartman has heart from Dr. Srita that she is in New Delhi and headed back to Kathmandu. Their hospital reported 200 deaths in Bhaktapur as of Saturday.
Please pass this news along to folks who have been on trips but are not likely on the Montview email distribution list. I’ll be back in Denver Tuesday night and will be better able to communicate through email. We will be discussing the best ways for us to effectively help our friends and colleagues in Nepal. Stay tuned for more news!