SUMMARY OF MY TRIPS TO NEPAL. Pep Masip.
1st trip to Nepal
April 25th 2015, I am in Dubai airport on a stopover between Johannesburg and Barcelona. On a seat inside the airport terminal, I find an English newspaper. My eye is caught by its frontage, portraying the news of Nepal’s earthquake (7,8 Mw)…
Something activates inside my brain: without being able to think about anything else, I catch the flight that will take me home.
Four days later, I am already contacting everyone I know to make possible my arrival in Katmandu on the 2nd of May.
During this first trip, I put myself to work, both as a medical assistant and by taking care of logistics to be able to reach the most remote areas in the country (Gorkha’s Valley and Sindupalchowk). Those are two of the most affected districts, earlier by the first earthquake and later by the second on the 12th of May. I get caught by surprise by the latter while being in Katmandu (7,6 Mw).
I also offer aid in many displacement camps, which are set up around the whole city and also in Katmandu’s Valley. People have either lost their homes or are too scared to be close to buildings that have been cracked and weakened by the earthquakes and the daily aftershocks.
2nd trip to Nepal
One month after my return to Barcelona from my first trip, I fly back to Nepal. This time, I come back with more material, medicines and clothes. I stay there for a month and a half (July 29th - August 12th). This trip will be conditioned by the Monsoon Season, which influences both the city and the mountains. It is extremely hard to move around due to heavy rainfalls: streets are extremely muddy and leeches are everywhere.
During this trip, I also participate in tasks regarding clearance and reconstruction of buildings and schools affected by the earthquakes; I provide medical assistance in the displacement camps and I distribute child clothing in the most remote areas of Sindupalchowk’s district (Tanopani and Chautara).
3rd trip to Nepal
In mid-October, I go back to Nepal for one more month with the idea of continuing the work I had already started some months ago. I continue caring out tasks of medical attention and distribution of child clothing. This time it is much more pleasant because the Monsoon Season has ended and the weather is much better.
For this third trip I have been able to collect around 170kg of children’s clothing. This has only been possible thanks to the collaboration of friends and friends of friends that have participated in this initiative through social media. I have sent all clothing to Nepal with the help of other volunteers that are also travelling to Nepal at the same time as me and also through a 70kg air cargo.
I can enjoy some days in Langtang’s Valley with Nima, father of a family who has lost its wife during the first earthquake. He guides me and my fellow travelers (Josep, Fiona and Carla) around the whole valley. We help cleaning the rests of his house and we offer clothing to several families that are still living in the bottom of the valley. The vast majority of people from the top of the valley are still in Kadmandú, waiting to return to rebuild their homes once winter ends.
Langtang is, by far, the most affected area that I have visited. This is mainly because of the large avalanche that fell over and literally swept the entire village as a result of the earthquake from the southern slope of Langtang Lirung (mountain of over 7200m that rises up on the village). To date there are still 15 missing bodies under the mass of rock and ice that fell from the mountain 3000 meters above.
After resting a few days in the city, we go back to the area of Singatí (Dolakha’s district located in the eastern part of the country, just before the Everest area) where we continue delivering medicines and child clothing. I also return to Sindupalchowk, the area of Yamarsing, Tenstang and Bagam where I had already been in July. I visit the family that took me for a week during my second trip and I check the rebuilding tasks in this area.
In six months, I made three trips to Nepal collaborating with many volunteers as well as several NGOs.
Nepal is slowly moving on, trying to recuperate from this chapter in its history. Now, it is facing other kind of problems such as political issues. For example, the blockade that the Indian government has been caring out for more than two months, which prevents the entry of gas and gasoline needed for daily consumption to Nepal through their land borders …
Hopefully things will settle down soon.
Thank you very much for your interest and collaboration.