Answering your questions about my experience in Nepal during the earth quake.
It is taking a while for me to share my experiences, simply because I am totally devastated - words can not describe the emotional impact this disaster is having on so many people. I am now safe and coming down from the adrenaline surges of feeling frightened and fearing for my life and for friends whom I could not locate.
I can now gather my thoughts because today I just now found out that my Australian friend and his sister are alive . Tears have been streaming each time I hear that a friend still in the effected areas has survived.
My heart is broken. I love Nepal. I now feel numb as I sit alone in Bangkok try to process this catastrophe .
Thank you all whom have reached out to me, all the amazing messages and posts and for hours I had many tears flowing as once I reached Thailand I could access the internet.
I want to answer all of your questions, concerns and also explain my personal experience as requested.
I have not attempted to watch the news or view tragic photographs yet - Just being there in those moments and hearing the stories from survivors is enough to know the impact -and its just too painful for visuals at the moment
My post may be a bit jumbled - but its okay I am aware that I am dealing with some heavy emotions.
My experience in Nepal prior to the earthquake I described as magical, with warm welcoming people whom have touched my heart on several occasions.
Nepalese are now facing huge trauma so much loss to a country that is already so poor . It destroys me I love Nepal.
Seeing the destruction in this beautiful land and being amongst this enormous amount pain and frightened people is really something I struggle to write about. I am grieving this tragedy and it's going to take me some time.
I got away with just few bruises -experiencing some flashbacks and nausea but generally I am ok and looking after myself.
So to share a bit about the experience, I was inside the airport during the big 7.9 quake, and got thrown to the ground a few times by the shakes, I found it very difficult to stay on my feet, It was chaos and very frightening .Its also quite a blur but I do remember making decisions on which way to run, being aware of the screaming panicking people and metal structures falling in my pathway.
My instinct was not to get amongst the mess of dashing people in flight, for fear of being trampled or struck. I believe I got shoved to the floor by a running man, so I knew that it was safer to trust that the building was going to stay intact and that I should try to stay on my feet and be conscious of my surroundings to avoid getting hurt.
Honestly, It was more scary later, because your adrenaline takes over in those few moments and for me it seemed to keep me calm- I think?.
The alarming and overwhelming emotional experiences comes as you gradually find out the details of the devastation through other peoples conversations. People bursting into tears as they find out the amount of destruction the quake as has caused.
The unknown was the most frightening part for me - the worst - was not knowing if my friends that I just said goodbye were ok, especially when I heard that the location I had just left behind had experienced lots of structural damage and many collapsed buildings.
I was so lucky that I was able to reach my family through Facebook, I found a local man who let me use his phone soon after my rushed post the internet failed to work until I reached Bangkok
Stories whirled around the parking lott of the building being flattened in Katmandu and trekking regions, avalanches on everest, and the beautiful old temples I had just visited the previous day Gone!.
Later that day as traumatized people started arriving at the airport, I meet couple from Europe - they told me that they were sitting underneath one of the temples that collapsed -grabbing his girlfriend and running as temple was crashing around them and witnessing other getting hurt and buried - I heard many of these dramatic and terrifying stories.
It was beyond dreadful and gut wrenching.
I got invited to go to the Australian Embassy for the night, driving back into Kathmandu I found it difficult to look out of the windows, we were all nervous and felt at risk. Everywhere people siting on the streets too scared to be near buildings crying to their gods to stop being angry. In a culture that dedicates so much to time and love towards worshipping their gods, I can only guess must have been confused as to why they were being punished.
All the aftershocks- so many of them-! and seeing the destruction - and for those who have asked NO I did not take photographs it was simply too traumatic of a vision for me. I will however share my beautiful photographs of the temples as a remembrance,with the hope to inspire people to donate to the people of Nepal.
At the embassy we were welcomed, feed and slept in big tents I was were unable to contact the British embassy as communications were down. Sleeping on the ground I could feel the ground moving all damn night continual aftershocks throughout the entire night plus two more big sized one that shock all awake. I did not sleep.
The next day getting back into the chaos at the airport was terrifying, crowds of people trying to squeeze through the small broken door into the airport -the one that I had ran out of the previous day during the quake.
My nerves were flipping whist in the middle of this crowd, fears from yesterday came back . I really did not want to go back inside but took that risk to get on my flight- even though we had no idea if we would be able to fly.
Then another earthquake 6.7 occurred -I had just boarded the airplane it rocked and so did the huge grey army plane along side ours, like Saturday people came running out of the building in fear .. I dread to think what was going on downstairs in the ticketing department during sunday quake as there was no way out of the building - Absolute chaos.
My experience frightening but was relatively easy compared to some other tourists I spoke to, those who wittiness collapsing buildings near and around them. and their struggle to get to a safe place quickly.
It is evident through all the stories I heard that humans react quite different in moments of fear. Some will grab a strangers hand and help them -an instinctual reaction - whilst other push you out the way and put you in further danger to safe themselves. The security guards in the airport were an example of the later! its was awful.
I heard so many stories of the Nepalese taking in foreigners and sharing what that had, taxi drivers risking there own lives to get tourist to safe open spaces or to get them to the nearest foreign Embassy. We must help these kind souls
This is Tragic time. So many friends have offered me their help to me, I urge you all Please Please donate these beautiful people to this beautiful land . They need Our help (my two homes) -America & Britain.
The situation is miserable please do what you can.
Brave aid workers are starting arriving, these volunteers are putting themselves in a very dangerous situation .. so many buildings are destroyed and continuing to crumb and fall .
Please do what you can please donate ‘Today’ these people need help.
I Love You Nepal . Namaste