It is now over a month after the big Nepal earthquake and I have just returned from two days in Kathmandu.
Let me get this straight right away: whatever you think the current situation in Nepal is, you are probably wrong. Nepal is not one big pile of rubble. Rather the opposite. The country is safe to visit. The hotels and guest houses are open, most of the hiking trails in the mountains are just fine and if you had plans to go to Nepal, there is no reason to cancel them.
Yes, you will see broken buildings and chances are that for months the people and visitors of Kathmandu will hear pneumatic hammers as they tear down badly cracked houses. But the numbers are way smaller than I had expected after seeing the destruction as presented on the news.
Here’s my message after I had a first-hand look myself: normality abounds.
“Namaste Chris! Thank you so very much for the donations to Maya Sherpa Project! Portions of the founds were used for the food and supplies drive in last week and this week by the Sherpa (Chyangmiteng Social Welfare Group) in and nearby Kathmandu valleys. We will continue to support for the future food and supplies drive. Portions of the donations will be used for helping to rebuilt schools they were damaged by the earthquake in Solukhumbu region!”
We crossed $12,000 in sales of our fundraiser ebook People of the Himalayas! I can’t even begin to express how much your help means to us.
Together with these pictures, we received the following message from our friend Chhokpa who was part of the help effort to bring food supplies to the people of the Sindhupalchok District in Nepal.
“Hello Chris. Today we distributed food stuff to the people of different village of sindhupalchok district. Government still not reach in that area so with some of our uncle from my mothers village we have distrobuted the food supplies(rice,lentil,oil and salt) to the villagers. Still many villagers have not get necessary tent and food stuff.”
If the government doesn’t get help out to the villages, the people will just do it themselves. And we’re proud to be able to support them.
Yes, I know this is the Tips from the Top Floor podcast and blog. Please accept my apologies for hijacking this blog for the People of the Himalaya fundraiser. But as I’ve frequently talked about Nepal here on the show, and the site gets more visibility than most of my other sites, it was a logical choice. I promise to bring you a new episode of Tips from the Top Floor this week to make up for it.
With that out of the way, here’s an exciting update: our fundraiser has just crossed the $10,000 line. We are simply blown away and quite honestly speechless. What a community you are! We asked for your help and you came through beyond our wildes dreams.
We have direct access to about $7000 of these funds right now (the part that came through via PayPal, the rest are credit card payments which take a week) – We are happy to say that yesterday we have sent another $2000 to mayasherpaproject.org.
After a phone call with VISA (repeatedly sending money to Nepal apparently triggers their fraud prevention systems and blocks your card), we have also sent 30,000 Nepalese Rupees (approx. € 267) to our friend Krishna, who will use some of it to help his parents rebuild their house in their mountain village and buy some supplies for them. He also injured his hand in the earthquake and is getting some medical attention in one of the hospitals.
Update:Krishna has spent the last days up in the village to help his parents. He just sent some new pictures. He has his arm in a sling because he fell during the earthquake and injured himself.
Over the weekend we have also verified with both dzi.org and mayasherpaproject.org that their funds in Nepal are highly unlikely to be affected by the Nepali government.