Stories from Nepal: After the Earthquake

1-Broken-house-131.jpg

Sharing, Even in Scarcity

The family of six are crammed under a sheet of corrugated metal suspended on poles to form a temporary shelter, sharing about 150 square feet with all the belongings and furniture they were able to salvage from the ruins of their brick and mud home. It is unclear how they have any space to lie down at night.

They had managed to retrieve a few bags of rice, which they cooked and shared with some others from the village who were even less fortunate after the April 25 earthquake in Nepal. In spite of this generosity, thieves came one night and tried to steal what little they had left. So now they sleep in shifts.

Ten days after the earthquake, a 20-person Nazarene disaster response team (church leaders, volunteers, and NCM staff) from Nepal came with enough 50-pound bags of rice for every household in the village to have one – enough food to last a month. They will continue to take turns sleeping to watch over the rice. And they insist they will continue to share with any of their neighbors who are in need.

I Still Have Hope

2 - 15 year old boy

“I [felt] maybe we may die. I was very afraid.”

Pradeep*, age 15, had just gotten off a bus coming from Kathmandu. The bus was shaking, and he saw that houses were falling down. “I feel I may die. Even the ground was cracking and making a hole,” he said

After he was able to get off the bus, Pradeep ran home to find his own home had fallen down too.

Thankfully, Pradeep’s family was OK. His father suffered mild injuries. He had been inside the house, and he grabbed onto a pillar. The house fell down. He managed to climb out a small window.

“I have more fear because more earthquakes [are] coming”

When the Nazarene disaster response team arrived in his village to provide emergency food aid, he said, “It’s very good for us because our grain and rice are mixed with mud.” There are eight people in his household, all left without food to eat. Pradeep has been eating with another family who had a little to share.

In the future, Pradeep’s family will rebuild another small hut and continue with their farming. He works in the city but he wants to also continue farming with his family.

“I have hope,” he says.

* Name withheld to protect privacy.

A Wish for the Future

A man approached a Nazarene disaster response worker who accompanied a food shipment that had come to his village. He said his name was Wangel, and he wanted to tell his story. He held up a finger on his right hand which was split down the middle in a gruesome gash. All he had to cover the wound was a thin, holey piece of gauze. His only medicine was a blister pack of painkillers.

When the earthquake came, he had been outside his house. In the 90 seconds that the ground rolled beneath, he ran into his mud and brick home to grab his family. He had pulled his wife and first grandchild through the doorway, and he was just getting the second grandchild out of the house when the building collapsed onto his arm and cut into his finger.

His mother was killed. It took him and his neighbors three days to pull her body from the rubble.

“This thing has come to us, so what I wish in the future is that my daughter and son and the next generation, they will be safe,” Wangel says. “I would be so happy.”

When asked about what he is going to do regarding his injury, he said that the health post is dealing with more serious injuries at the moment.

Wangel is living under a sheet of corrugated metal propped on stilts, just like everyone else in the remote, impoverished village of Tindhara.

3 - Man with torn finger 2

To learn more or to support the church’s response in Nepal: ncm.org/nepal