While we enjoy sharing happy stories about the beautiful sights, cultures, and people of Nepal, the reality is that many people in the country are still struggling to recover from last year’s devastating earthquake. Even today, many families lack basic shelter. And, it is the Monsoon season.
We were contacted by one of our Nepali friends, Sampurna Khanal, who is trying to raise money to provide basic shelter for 21 families. Each shelter will cost approximately $200. So far, he has raised $400, and asked for our help. All of the money donated (minus banking transfer fees) will be sent to help these 21 families.
Contributions of ANY amount are gratefully accepted.
Thank you to the following people for your donations!
Sampurna sent a thank you message to include in this post with some photos showing the destruction from the earthquakes:
Hello and Namaste from Nepal.
I think all of you out there know about the devastating earthquake that occured in nepal one year ago. Thousands of people lost their life and millions of people lost their shelter. Thousands of people still dont have a proper shelter and enough food to survive. So our team decided to collect donations to the help the victims. We have list of 21 family who really need help and donation for them and for their childrens education. 21 family consists of old ages people,orphan and jobless people who lost everything on earthquake. 6 months earlier also we donated rice and utensils to 54 family who really nedd some support. Due to lack of government help they really are living a worst life. So if You and I can go hand in hand then we could make a better life for them. Please help us as you can and please ask your friends,relative and others too. Penny counts a lot here. Thank you so much!
As we try to keep our wits about us during this busy time of year, it can be hard to keep track of everything. Social media to the rescue! I wanted to take a moment to give a friendly reminder that today is “Giving Tuesday”and reminds us of the Giving Season.
We have received all manners of help from people all over the world to get to where we are with the film. Yet, we still are not at the top of our climb. As you think about where to make your donations this Giving Tuesday, and throughout the season, please consider contributing to the Karma Documentary.
Your donation will support the people of Nepal and help them recover from the devastating earthquakes. Together, we will tell their stories and encourage the return of tourists. It has been a slow recovery so far. Fall is usually the busiest tourism season in Nepal, and the numbers this year are far below what is needed for many Nepalis to get by in good years. Help us turn that around.
Thank you, Happy Holidays, Happy Giving Tuesday, and Namaste!
Contributions of ANY amount are gratefully accepted.
Join Luke on June 18th in Boulder, CO, for an evening of beverages, beautiful imagery, stories, and discussion around the filming of the Karma Documentary and how the earthquakes in Nepal have affected the lives of those we met, and the telling of their stories as we move forward.
Neptune Mountaineering – 8pm
633 S Broadway St Suite A, Boulder, Colorado 80305
Supporting the cause:
-You can donate through the GoFundMe campaign, as well as share the link and encourage others to donate:
How do you know when travel impacts you deeply? Which journeys give you the most powerful memories? These thoughts have been bouncing around my mind furiously since I returned from Nepal. Nepal left a deep imprint. Every time I ask myself why, the answer is simple. The people.
I met Ashok Bhujel, a young Nepali man in his early twenties, one day as I returned to my guesthouse in Changu Narayan. He helped with all sorts of daily chores around the guesthouse. He greeted me with a warm smile, and open arms. I could not even begin to have a want before he would anticipate it and help me out.
I got to know Ashok better over the next three weeks. He is a dreamer. Whether he was inviting me to sit with his friends and trade songs on his guitar, or teaching me about the political, educational, and economic struggles of younger Nepali generations, Ashok dwells on the possibilities, not the barriers.
I have been keeping touch with Ashok occasionally. It was his messages to me a couple weeks ago that both gave me great relief that he was ok and sadness for his upcoming struggles. Ashok, like so many in Nepal, has lost everything – his home and his job – due to the earthquakes. He has a new wife, Nena. Together, they were starting their life together in Kathmandu when the earthquakes struck. Rather than relay his story to you, here are his own words from our recent conversations. I asked him to tell his story, so I could share it with you.
“Okay Luke Iet me start. Well I was working in starview and she had a singingbowl healing centre in Bhaktapur Dattariya. One day I took one of my costumer to her centre and then I meet her. Her name is Nena Nepali.
She is very good as a person. So I liked her at first sight. I took her visiting card and then slowly we came close. Well she is a town girl and I belong to village. She had lots of big dreams like to be a big successful business girl…”
“And one day she took me to her home I met her parents. They had a small shop too. Her parents and her 3 yrs old brother all are very nice people. After that slowly I talk about her with my parents. They want to meet her too.
Then I took her my village. My village is 150 km away from Kathmandu. It’s a rural place, completely a small village. I hope u can imagine. She was so afraid while we were on bus coz it feels like we r riding on elephant. It makes me laugh remembering her face on bus in that day. After that my parents liked her. So after that we fix the date and get married. Then I got job doing Thanka paintings.”
“But I didn’t have still home to stay. So I was sitting. With her parents. Life was going slowly okay u know but now my sweet home in village is no more. My family is staying under tent. I don’t even know. Do they getting foods or not. My wife shop is also gone and with that all her hard work and dreams too.
Seeing around how and what earthquake brought to our normal life still today we cannot sleep well. Thinking about how to start all when it’s gonna be normal like before my heartache tears rolls down. What to do how to do? I don’t have any idea. In one side I think about Nena and in another about my parents. She is a elder child of her parents and I must also. We both are feeling helpless brother. But still haven’t giveup our hope.”
***You can donate through PayPal here:
Ashok and Nena are some of the many people in Nepal that will receive help from the donations you make to our GoFundMe fundraiser. Please contribute today.
The news has been horrific. Many of us have seen the images and videos of the destruction in Nepal as the country shook repeatedly over the last several weeks. The wonders of an interconnected world bring the heartbreaking losses into all of our lives.
Yet, I am struck by how different this disaster feels to me than the others that have come in recent times. The difference is, of course, that the people hit this time are my friends. I do not say this to take away from the many people who endured the horrors of the tsunamis in Japan or Thailand, the earthquake in Haiti, or any other natural disaster. I say this, because I hope that in sharing the stories of my friends in Nepal, you too will be touched by their humanity and help them.
This is the first of many posts I will be making where I will tell the stories of my Nepali friends pertaining to the earthquakes. While it has been difficult to wake up every morning to countless messages from Nepal recounting the tragedy (13 hour time difference), it is nothing compared to the challenges that they face every day. In a country where life was difficult before, the earthquakes have taken everything from many.
One of my friends who has asked for help is Suman. I smile every time I think about the first time I met him. I had just strolled through the temple complex in Changu Narayan, a 4-th century village in the hills outside Kathmandu, and was meeting my travel companions at the little open-air restaurant just outside the temple gate. As I was walking up the stairs leading to the elevated pavilion, I was greeted by the warm smile and boundless energy that Suman is never without.
Suman explained that he would be our waiter and chef. It turns out, this 22-year old runs the entire restaurant by himself in addition to managing the small wheat, rice, and potato fields his family relies on for food. He supports his mother, father, and three younger siblings. He learned to cook while working in restaurants in India before returning home to work at the restaurant at a small guest house in Changu. Did I mention he can cook? Suman made, without a doubt, my favorite chicken dishes in Nepal.
As we got to know Suman more, he invited us into the community to experience their culture like we were family. Whether he was bringing us to the evening Puja (prayer session that is mostly a musical jam session by a local family of musicians) or taking us on picnics, Suman made us feel at home.
A great honor came one day when Suman invited all of us to accompany him on a 3-hour hike into the hills to attend the village’s annual festival to honor the hindu gods Ganesh and Vishnu. We were treated to a traditional ceremonial goat sacrifice that culminated in a delicious roasted goat feast. As we were walking back to Changu in the golden sunset over Kathmandu valley, we learned that we were the first visitors to attend this ceremony.
The messages I received from Suman in the days following the earthquakes were heartbreaking. Like many people in Changu Narayan, Suman and his family lost everything. His family’s home was destroyed. The restaurant he worked at is gone. He has no income, and he is the sole provider for his family. They are now sleeping under a tarp at the village’s Bus Park. Suman tells me that it would cost $3000-$5000 to build a new basic mud home for his family. Considering that his salary was about $35 per month before the earthquake eliminated his job, he has no way to pay for it.
In the midst of all of this tragedy, there is a positive note. Suman just got married May 8th. Amid all of the loss and destruction, a glimmer of happiness still shines through.
Suman is one of the many people in Nepal that will receive help from the donations you make to our GoFundMe fundraiser. Please contribute today.