Nepal Disaster Relief Trip

Sean and I traveled more than 36 hours to Kathmandu, Nepal. When we finally landed in Nepal we were greeted with 100% humidity and monsoon rains. We bought 200 sleeping bags, 200 mosquito nets, and solar panels to give away to those yet to receive aid after the April earthquake in the village of Mahadev Kharka. Once it was loaded on a truck the relief team headed out to a village that was only 70 kilometers (43 miles) away but on Nepali mountain roads it took close to five hours. When we finally arrived at Mahadev Kharka, Sean and I got out and couldn’t believe how many times we prayed that we wouldn’t hit an oncoming truck or spill over the cliff next to us. To put it lightly, Nepali roads will help out your prayer life.

The next morning we groggily unzipped our tents to see the never-ending mountains of emerald green rice fields. The village is placed on a breathtaking mountain side overlooking a heavenly view. There was an abundance of crops: rice, corn, mango, cucumbers, jackfruit and many more.

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We attended church with many of the village leaders in the morning. There are close to 100 people in Mahadev Kharka; half of them are Christians. In church the women sit on the left and the men sit on the right. We were surprised to see that many of the songs they sang were the same ones we sing in church here but in Nepalese. Even on the other side of the world Christians are praising God with the same words of worship.

I was utterly amazed by how stunning the women were with flawless skin and dressed in their brightly colored traditional attire and jewelry. The men wear neutral colors with a traditional hat called a Dhaka Topi.

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IMG_5508Distribution was held in an open field where the village leaders called out the names of those most in need first. It was amazing seeing people flood in from near and far, excited to meet us and thankful to receive the supplies. Each person was thrilled about a new sleeping bag and mosquito net. Winter is coming in Nepal and living in the mountains means it can get down to low temperatures. Keeping warm and safe is vital. Mosquito nets were requested to prevent the contraction of dengue fever, yellow fever, and various forms of encephalitis, including the West Nile virus, which are all transmitted through insect bites.
Mahadev Kharka has electricity but it’s unpredictable which is why the two solar panels Giving Children Hope gave were a huge asset. Before we left it was already installed. The solar energy will power the communal kitchen as well as the church/town hall room.

After distribution we had the pleasure of walking from home to home hearing from the families about the living conditions they are living through right now. Since the earthquake, their homes are too dangerous to live in, forcing them to live in makeshift shelters out of tarps. There are two to three people living in each shelter. One gentleman said the rain has been difficult this monsoon season but the cold weather coming this winter is what they are worried about. It was humbling to see how resilient these people are living under the circumstances they are. One might be tempted to think uneducated farmers might be simple minded, but these people are truly brilliant at what they do. The man pictured had a canal system dug around his tent to drain the rain that would otherwise flood his tent.

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Unfortunately, Sean and I had to leave Mahadev Kharka earlier than expected due to road closures because of a political party strike. If we had the option we would have loved to stay longer with what felt like a new family. It was an honor representing all you, our supporters, in the field, attempting to convey how loved these people are by those in America.

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2 replies added

  1. R Harrison September 28, 2015 Reply

    As a school leader in Buena Park, I am very appreciative of the efforts that GCH extends on behalf of the children and families in our community through the food backpack program.

    Born in Nepal myself, it was a pleasure to read about the relief aid sent to this hard to reach region in the world’s highest mountain ranges.

    I just returned from a GCH fundraising & awareness event this evening, and from my place of work in Orange County to my place of birth in the Himalayas, it is clear indeed that the organization is true to its goal of serving both “across the street and around the world”. Keep up the great work!

    • Carly Visbal September 30, 2015 Reply

      Thank you for your incredible words. We couldn’t do it without the support of people like you. Thank you!

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