Upwards to Thulo Sirubari
Reaching some of the neediest earthquake victims
Up, up, up we drove from Kathmandu, winding along steep mountain roads around countless switchback curves—none of which had guard rails—to visit more villages impacted by the earthquake in Nepal. My ears popped many times as the air pressure changed, but I enjoyed the cool, fresh mountain air (except for the many times we got temporarily stuck behind slow-moving trucks or buses belching out black diesel fumes!). I also enjoyed the spectacular views across verdant valleys to the blue-hued mountains in the distance. Words—and even photos—are insufficient to describe the breathtaking beauty.
But as beautiful as the scenery was, our mission left me little time to enjoy it. Nor did the continual reminders of suffering I witnessed as we drove past one destroyed home after another on our way to a village in Thulo Sirubari, a county-like area east of the capital. (If you missed the photos I posted of this devastation in my first blog, click here, or missed my second blog about how Heaven’s Family helped a village through a Christian school, click here.)
Loaded with sacks of rice and lentils, some strapped to our roof rack, our Indian-built vehicle finally departed from the paved road onto a rutted dirt one. Progress was slow. We were finally stopped about a mile short of our destination by a makeshift shelter of tarps and tin erected squarely in our path. The terraced road prevented us from driving around it, so the villagers were forced to come to us.
After distributing our life-sustaining cargo, we learned more about their losses. One died in that house, I learned as my eyes followed my guide’s pointing finger, and another one there. I also learned that some Nepalese men traditionally mourn their dead by shaving all the hair from their heads except for a 1- or 2-inch-long ponytail-like patch, removing their shirts, and donning loose white pants or a cloth wrap. Others, who probably were not in mourning, already began the task of rebuilding their homes by tearing down those parts that hadn’t yet crumbled to the ground (photos below).
We also learned of a young girl who was buried temporarily but rescued (photos below). She walks with a bad limp and must use a bamboo stick to brace herself due to an internal hip injury. We prayed for her to be healed. We also prayed for healing of many emotional scars resulting from this tragedy.
On our way back we stopped for a short visit at another village. Unfortunately we didn’t have any more aid to distribute, but the national missionaries with whom I was traveling will do so after I return to the US. Their home was a total loss, as can be seen at left in the photo below, but the children (and farm animals) are happily living together in a temporary home constructed of bamboo framing covered with heavy clear plastic sheeting.
Thanks for joining me today. Tomorrow I’ll be telling you about some of the individual stories of people I met this week, and those who were blessed, thanks to the compassionate gifts Heaven’s Family has received for the Disaster Relief Fund.
Because of Him,
Director, Disaster Relief Fund