Thursday, 30 April 2015

When the Ground Moved

Many walls in our local area
are down
Saturday was a fairly quiet morning for us until midday. Then it struck. We were in our 2nd floor flat at the time and we quickly huddled together, and kept low in a safe location. As soon as the initial shaking was over we were out of the flat, leaving everything behind, including mobiles which did concern some people who then could not get hold of us in the first couple of hours.

We sheltered with the landlord and his family in our garden, as he listened to the news and informed us of the significance of the situation. We had known it was a big one, but couldn’t believe quite how big it was. Our initial surprise that the neighbours garden wall had fallen down turned to amazement that more hadn’t. In fact as I went round the local area later in the afternoon the only damage I could find was garden walls that had fallen over.

Open spaces became full of people very quickly, this was taken
about 2:30 on Saturday
Of course the news soon came in that not that far away in Kathmandu much more significant damage and destruction had occurred, although some of the rumours, including that the airport had been destroyed turned out to be false.

In the early evening we decided to make our way to KISC as we knew several of our friends were doing the same, to shelter on the basketball court for the night. We grabbed supplies from the flat and headed up.
Our temporary home

The basketball court then became home for four nights. This was in so many ways a blessing, but also a hard time. The kids enjoyed having so many of their friends there – it was described as being like a long party by Samuel. On Sunday the peak night, we had over 200 people sleeping on the court and many of the KISC community rallied round to support the new community. There were people from many nations there, plenty of Nepalis, Koreans, Brits of course, Australians, Americans, even a few Swiss and I’m sure some others.
Shopping this week has been
 a bit different

It soon became clear that the road to India was open, and some shops were open Sunday, with more opening as the days went on, allowing us to be able to get food and eat a fairly regular diet. Electricity appeared fleetingly, but then Tuesday evening it came and stayed for a good 12 hours. A big concern was water, but we were able to collect 200 litres of rain water during a storm which we iodised ensuring we would be ok for a while longer.

Story time at the camp
Then yesterday we came home. It was good in so many ways, to see how quickly the kids happily picked up their toys and started playing, in the exact spot they had been on Saturday. But in other ways it is so hard still. We aren’t being supplied with city water yet, so are having to be very careful in our use. Occasional tremors continue setting us on edge, although mercifully they are too small for the kids to really notice now. But these are minor concerns compared to many peoples worries.

Home Again
The kids have handled the whole thing amazingly. 4 nights of sleeping on the basketball court and 4 days of constant playing with friends certainly tired them out and there have been several times of questioning about the whole situation, but thankfully, they are mostly just carrying on as normal. We are delighted about this, and are pleased to be able to help them process all they have been through.

Of course, our story is not at all representative of so many others and there is a great need here. We will share stories of those who have been more seriously affected soon. BMS World Mission, our sending organisation, has set up a disaster relief fund. All the money from this fund will go direct to long term partners here in Nepal. Organisations that will be here long after the initial aid has disappeared. Organisations who we know well as many of their staff have children at KISC. If you would like to help, please do consider giving to the BMS World Mission Relief fund by following this link.



1 comment:

Kris Yeomans said...

Hi Daniel - I am glad to have found this blog. When I heard of the earthquake, I immediately thought of your family, as well as Khim and Ben Hepner. I am glad to hear you're ok. I have been praying for you all and am wondering what ways my family can help you all. Please let me know when you have a chance. I sent a friend request to you on facebook, as interestingly, you came into my mind about a day before the earthquake occurred. Please contact me when you can and let us know how we can help. Blessings to your family! - Kris Yeomans (LMC Cambodia classmate)