Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Timing is everything

V and I have been so upset and shaken by the Nepal earthquake. The sheer guilt and thankfulness for him having followed his dream and come back safely to us while for so many it has been a fatal journey is currently overwhelming. It is the way of natural disasters that one looks instinctively for their own loved ones in the face of knowing that others who are not ours in the same sense are at risk / losing their lives/ livelihoods/ shelter. It is not without guilt though that I want to hold him and give thanks that he is alright all the while knowing that for so many families their loved one is not. And similarly he has spent the last 3 days tracking down friends he made who were preparing at the Base Camp and Camp 1 for ascents to the Peak, porters, guides and organisers who helped him on his way and friends who set off on other treks in the majestic Nepalese mountains. Only last night has everyone been accounted for, safe and sound.

I had a huge fight on a whatsapp group with a classmate from college. He first asked everyone to contribute to an NGO his wife runs (which is fine, I understand direct fundraising) but in addition thought it best to keep sending messages announcing how NASA had predicted an earthquake to hit India/ Nepal at 3pm/ 8pm, today/ tomorrow etc. Scare mongering at its very worst. Stay outside from 7.50 to 8.30, I'm sure a big earthquake is going to hit etc. This ability to predict things is blatantly untrue and just the perfect fodder for whatsapp groups. It made me crazy and I lost my cool while trying to not lose my cool (if you know what I mean).

On the other side though there has been an outpouring of love and thankfulness for V's safe return on FB, via email and text and whatsapp from friends and family around the globe. Warms the heart knowing we have a little world of our own that cares enough to ask/ check/ love. 

There is also the question of how does one help. How do you choose between disasters or needy causes? It is the subject of my years of fundraising - how do I get you to care about (ie donate to/ promote) my cause? I guess the knowledge that it could have been you had you stuck to the original plan is a powerful tool. While V does his part in helping Nepalese causes now so near and dear to him, I am this week contributing to a cause dear to me. My friend is living on £1 per day for food in a fundraising bid to raise awareness and money for Action Against Hunger. By day she works with vulnerable women and via this project she is living on a £1 per person food allowance in an attempt to see/ show how very little that is. And how so many women make that stretch to feed themselves and their children. She reminded me of school holidays and how children who would normally get a free and hot breakfast and lunch at school then have to eat at home putting untold pressure on their £1 per person budget. This leads to mothers subsisting on cups of many times brewed tea as replacements for entire meals or skipping meals to feed their children. My friend is an E14 hero and I hope some day to be back in that neck of woods and drinking a cup of tea with her. If you want to contribute to her cause please click on the link. Every £ counts: https://www.livebelowtheline.com/me/nadinepain

To support the search for survivors and the delivery of relief to Nepal click on this link: https://www.redcross.org/combined-donate?donationProdId=prod9150029&campname=donateNepalEarthquake&campmedium=aspot_dis16

There isn't much more in life than our families, friends and these lives we hold so dear. It makes all other things seem so inconsequential. Kiss your spouse and hug your children, call your parents and email your friends. You are not alone and may you never be. 


  1. I have the same dilemmas about donating around disasters. On the one hand, I am moved by the moment. On the other, I feel like a lot of people are going to donate and maybe I should direct my money to causes that might not get the same attention. Normally, I end up waiting and donate when the first wave of donations might have died down.

  2. Hugs. Yes, always tough to choose between charities and cause(s) to contribute to..
    A friend of mine from school was in Kathmandu on the day of the earthquake and was air lifted by the IAF. So scary. Was thinking of you and how V just got back when I read about the earthquake but didn't email..

  3. Don't know what prompted me to check your blog today. OMG! OMG!! So, so, so happy to hear that V is back safe and sound. Seriously close call. Gosh, you must be still shaking every time you think about it.

  4. I think apart from monetary donations people should take some time out and get involved in other aspects of rehab, the government does act swiftly in such cases , but people tend to ignore things like post recovery amenities e.g. education,healthcare & other related infrastructures.This is the time when education consultants along with other similar professionals should come forward and plan for post disaster rehabilitation. After all the life has to move on

  5. Bride, that seems like a sensible thing to do. I also give money to causes that friends are doing an activity for (marathons, amazing race, iron man, living on £1 per day etc) as I know how and why these fundraising drives work.

    Radha, glad your friend is ok. It's a bleak and scary time for anyone in Nepal and all we can do from afar is keep them in our thoughts and as much well directed money / resources we can afford.

    Chakli: where did you go? After promising to write all the time you made your blog private and I have had no way of contacting you. Hope you are well well well. Yes, still a bit shaken by the idea/ possibility/ timing and great sadness for those who didn't make it. Sadly one does have to take great sorrow and unhappiness in ones stride if one is to function normally in a world full of war and a planet fighting back at its abuse. At some point the shaking of our souls too will quieten.

    GG: life does have to move on. It is however an unrealistic wish for people even from appropriate backgrounds to hop out of their lives and work on on the ground rehabilitation. That is why secure and well used funders are key - organisations who can and do have the power and resources to build the country up again. Give money and time wisely.

  6. Blogspot ate up my previous comment. Had a long one typed up :( I guess I was expecting a response from you here and wasn't surprised. I have a colleague from Nepal and his stories were not pleasant. The least we can try and do is our bit.