It is heartbreaking to see Nepal suffer in such a tragic way. The Nepalese are some of the most beautiful people one could meet. There is a sense of honesty, loyalty, friendliness, and dedication that you rarely see elsewhere. Children have enormous smiles and taxi drivers are full of humour and wittiness - people are really passionate for you to fall in love with their country. It is also a country that has suffered due to years of domestic conflict, political and economic corruption, and geo-political and economic isolation. Nepal’s decrepit infrastructure is rarely seen elsewhere, other than in parts of Africa and a few other places. Roads are barely roads, dangerously going through treacherous mountains, hugging dangerous cliffs, with thick mist and fog making it hard for a speeding bus or truck driver to see. Homes and businesses dangerously reach for the skies, with little or no planning authority, people take construction into their own hands and constantly add new levels to their homes or businesses. Nepal is complicated, confusing, neglected, beautiful, spectacular, enchanting and heartbreaking, and it has this ability to grab you, win you heart and pull at your soul. Once you go, it is inevitable you will want to return.
This is why Saturday’s earthquake is so tragic. So devastating. The majority of Nepalese have nothing. They work to eat, eat to work. What little enjoyment, entertainment, recreation they do have they do with enormous smiles and with such enthusiasm. The 19th Century Dharhara tower was a location of joy, yet sadly it collapsed yesterday killing over 50. Small tea shops where men discussed the week before, collapsed, killing all those inside. The UNSCO listed Dunbar Sq is a disaster with many buildings collapsing. A source of tourism and local delight, now gone. Families lost there businesses, children their schools, employees their place of wage. The city is completely devastated. The lack of planning regulation, building requirements, and sub-standard building techniques has all contributed to this heartbreak. Peoples lives have gone from difficult to impossible.
The roads, already crumbling and highly fragile, are now gone. Whole highways have collapsed. The road between Nepal’s two main cities, Kathmandu and Pokhara, in ruins. Mother nature, seen at her most spectacular in Nepal, is also at her most deadly, once knew, now discovered.
The effect of this earthquake will be felt for years. Those with a heart and passion for Nepal, those who Nepal won over, will need to become global ambassadors for the country. They will need to return, support and encourage locals. I have no doubt Nepal will rebuild as the people are incredibly strong, resolute, hardworking, and a positive affect of previous difficult times is that people know how to rebuild there lives after enormous hardship. Nepal is truly beautiful, its people are some of the kindest and most genuine I have ever met. #prayfornepal