What can we do when yet another disaster of this magnitude strikes? It’s a question we all ask ourselves, sitting in the comfort of our homes. I’ve had the urge to get on the next flight to Kathmandu to volunteer, but over time I’ve come to realize my naiveté in thinking I can be helpful in a catastrophic situation. I’m not trained for disaster relief or equipped to deal with the situation at hand. Here’s a good read about better ways we can all take action.

Something else we can all do is believe in Nepal and remember this beautiful country and its people, especially after the media has lost interest and moved on. Here are some images from two trips in 2000 and 2005. My photos are old and low resolution from the days when I was still shooting film. But the color and spirit of this country are as clear as ever.

As the search for survivors goes on, I’m happy to report I’ve heard from Sagar Pandey and can confirm his safety. Sagar is the owner of Himalayan Glacier Trekking, based in the heart of Kathmandu. I received this message from him yesterday:

“Namaste Kelly
Thank you so much for your concern, thanks Almighty GOD we have been saved and sound, all the family members, friends and HGT team. How are you?”

I have not heard back from Ashish Gurung — trekking guide, husband and father of two beautiful daughters.

Sherpas I’ve had the honor of camping with — Lal, Raghu, Chandiman, Janga, Yadav and Bhola Kaji  — were most likely working in the Khumbu when the earthquake struck and have probably been hard at work evacuating people from the valley. The only way out is by helicopter or by foot.

Om mani padme hum.

On the way to Gorak Shep

On the way to Gorak Shep

31 comments

  1. Thanks for digging through old photos to bring back what I remember about Nepal. Lovely people, lovely scenery, and so much more. I’m glad your friend is safe. Wish we could say the same for all. Thanks again for this post.

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      1. We were in Nepal in 2011 to build two houses through Habitat for Humanity. What an experience! Would so much like to hear about our families . . . to know if they are safe or not. We stayed in the Dhulikel Resort, so the houses were in that area. Have heard nothing. Thanks for asking.

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      2. Wow, very cool and Dhulikel looks amazing! That must have been a fantastic experience. I hope your families are okay. I’m sure the homes you built were more likely to withstand forces of nature than most in the area. Hope you receive word soon.

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  2. It’s really heartbreaking to see what kind of calamity the earthquakes have caused. But let us all not forget that Nepal is a beautiful country, most people that I know say to me how friendly Nepalese are, it raised up from rubble of the 1934 earthquake, and it surely will too this time.

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    1. Hey, Bama! Yes, Nepal will emerge stronger than ever. Can’t wait for you to go on your trip and report back on the progress that’s been made by the time you get there. I already know your post will be amazing, and depict all the beauty of the people and landscape that make Nepal so special.

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      1. Hi Kelly. A little update from Nepal. I stayed in Bhaktapur a few days ago and went to Patan yesterday. Some ancient structures were completely destroyed, but many are still standing, sustaining only minor damage. At some places renovation works are already ongoing, but it might take years to rebuild those which have collapsed. I’m going to see places around Kathmandu tomorrow which, judging from the photos on the internet, were worst hit by the earthquakes.

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      2. Hey Bama! Thanks for the report. So great to hear your first-hand account and know that not everything was shaken down. I suppose this process has happened for centuries. It’s the Himalayas after all, but still a terrible tragedy. Hope you enjoyed Kathmandu — such beautiful chaos there. Great to hear from you, as always.

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    1. Thanks, Randall. Isn’t it so hard when devastation comes to places we love, yet we can’t be there to help? Hoping Nepal makes it through and emerges stronger and more beautiful than ever. Thanks for reading. Always nice to hear from you. 🙂

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    1. Joy! So great to hear from you! How’s life? Thanks for sharing my blog with your friend. I hope everyone he/she knows is alive and okay. So devastating! We have so much to be thankful for. Miss you! ♥ K.

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  3. Kelly, I guess I missed this post (I was offline a while, working). Very nicely done. I was devastated, still am. And yeah, I had the same thought to fly there and help (and then realized…I’d probably just be in the way). But maybe the thought does count for something?
    Hey, two things while I’m here. Did you stay on the water in the Maldives (photo with Mexican beer), and does this theme automatically cut off your writing on the main page that shows a number of latest posts for each category? Are you traveling soon?

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    1. Hey Badfish! Sorry for the lag in responding to you! I’m living out of a suitcase between Singapore, Lake Tahoe, London and Vancouver. More on all that coming soon, but yes, I’m traveling soon… meaning now! Yes, stayed over the water in Maldives at Olhuveli. Worth every penny. Yes, this theme has a finite amount of space for a photo and text. I don’t think it can be adjusted but maybe if you upgrade. Readers have to click the story to see the whole thing. What’s new in your world?

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      1. Hey girl. Likewise on the lag on this end. Singapore, Lake Tahoe, London and Vancouver—you go girl! Thanks for the info. I’m in Bali…by default…again.

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      2. Landed in Vancouver last Friday. Feels like I’ve been traveling forever, but all good. I’m not complaining. Envious of you in Bali. I already miss Southeast Asia. Would love a plate of nasi uduk right now!

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  4. Thanks for bringing me back to Nepal. Such a wonderful place with the nicest people in the world. I noticed your name on istock and was wondering if you are one in the same? If so, I had a question on one of your photos of NYC and would to buy it in a high resolution if possible.

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    1. Thanks for your comment! Yes, Nepal is one of the best places on earth! 🙂 Interesting that my name is on istock. Unfortunately, it’s not me. Sorry I can’t help you with the photo. Thanks again for reading.

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