Monday, 18 April 2016

Day 580-656: Earthquake disaster relief, Nepal

Off to my volunteering project site

New friends (Denisse, Josefina, Erwan, Loise) I met who were heading to the same project

4hrs bumpy bus ride. By the way, the goat just got off the roof top

Us on the roof top

At base where we hang out everyday... here at base we get to sleep on bunk beds

Another base up in the village... here you get to sleep in tents


View around the work place

On a clear (rare) day, we'll get views of the mountains

We hang out with the locals

Dancing at a wedding

Iman and I with the bride

We play with children

We play with puppies

PLAY with puppy

We steal pick pomelos


They have been living in shed made of CGI sheets or wood

Condition of their home

One of the beneficiary's profile

Nothing beats a happy smile on them

Meet Salina, one of our beneficiaries and watch her story below. It was especially hard when I was told the site I was rubbling was where she lost her sons

How they cook


They cook and fed us everyday

Dhal bhat lunch power

Common sight after lunch... we take a power nap

Being creative in napping style

When you gotta rest, you gotta rest

I must say... its very comfortable to sit take a rest in a wheel barrow

They made us tea in the morning and afternoon


On days off (once a week), we check out the surrounding


Ok getting down to serious business... we actually do work very hard everyday

Daily meetings about progress and work for the next day

In the morning... I started waking at 6am in the morning and when we had to start work even earlier, I ended up waking at 5.15am

Gathering tools for work

Getting into respective trucks

And off we go

Caterina, Channy and Jenny... miss them much

Sometimes its sardine packed at the back

Road to work site

There is a limit to where the truck could get us so most of the time we had to walk with our tools

After a hard and hot day of work

A rubble site

We had to clear all these


Rubbling... even if it means moving rock by rock


This site was cleared and levelled after 5 days of rubbing

Another view from the same site above

Progress after the site above

Sherpa days... sites are hard to reach by vehicle so everyday the sherpa team had to carry and drop materials (50kg cement bags, sand, gravel, concrete blocks, steel structure, CGI sheets) at designated areas

Sherpa-ing... baskets of sand/gravel

Foundation being marked

Foundation being dugged

Huge rock in the way... unable to remove it, we decided to shave the ends off bit by bit.... it took forever as we don't have he right tools

Digging foundation holes

I just dugged a perfect square

Foundation ready for the structure team

Structure ready for the wall and roof team to proceed

Tying the mesh - these mesh prevent the external walls from falling into the house when theres a earthquake

Wire cutting

Getting all the wires ready for tying the mesh round the structures

Roof team getting ready to start

Completed shelter for them

Sharing 2 Videos made by some of the volunteers - Life on site

Getting rid of a massive rock where the septic tank needs to sit

Toilet building in progress

Toilet almost complete

Another rubbling day... we need to bring it down to door level. It was here where 5 children lost their lives during the earthquake... 2 of which are Salina's sons

Ta-dah... flat and levelled after 2 days

Our happy beneficiaries... I can't explain how it felt to see the smiles on their face... to have a new home and now a 'porch'


When we were out in town

Freshly made bread, cake, donuts etc

The much needed fruits and veggies

Best veggie burgers in town


When we get together to cook on our days off

Handmade pizza

Handmade Gnocchi


And many friends made

With Yevgeni from Russia... loves how he speak it sounds like russian mafia...
He will be travelling on his motorbike next year around Russia if anyone wants to join him...


Nights when we sit around to sing - nevermind with the blackout

Crazy selfie on the way back after work...

On the odd days everyone will gather together doing the same job... Its Sherpa day today... everyone will Sherpa including the staff members and move materials to wherever its needed. We moved so much on this day!

The rubbling girls with the same hair do :)

Our last rubbling day with rubbling dream team!


Days where we go to Kathmandu... being thrown around at the back of the bus

On the way to Thamel squashed behind a truck

Jon, Kelly and Chantal - Pre holi celebration... still very clean

Smacked with coloured powder by some stranges

 Unrecognisable me post holi celebration


 Almost completed

Fully completed and beneficiaries have movd in

Handover ceremony of completed houses

Fruits given during the handover

About to be given tikka blessing by the beneficiaries for completing their houses


With my rubbling bitches, Olivia, Kim and Chantal 

More handovers

With the families of the 5 houses handed over 


Just a little statistic for our project

Final handover ceremony and big party with beneficiaries in the village


 The last big meal that our beneficiaries cooked for us

 Our Associate Project Director being blessed with lotsa tikka powder

 2 of our drivers who drove us to and fro base daily without fail... Krishna and Gyanu

 With my favourite forever 18 girls... love them loads

 All of us with the beneficiaries on our last hand over party in the village

 Goodbye selfie

 Final Goodbyes and off to Kathmandu for good after 2 months of volunteering here. Was supposed to stay for just a month but decided to stay till the end to watch the project finished.
We've smashed it, earlier than expected! Thanks All Hands for the wonderful experiences!
I wasn't obliged to raise any funds but after being here as a volunteer I felt I could do more for the people. I've seen for myself how the earthquake had affected them. Some are not mentally sound and some resort to drinking to pass time. Few days after I arrived, there was a 5.5mag tremor while I was sleeping and subsequently many tremors occurred that I've lost count. Remembered once it was in the day while at work and I heard everyone screaming...even though it was a short tremor, they screamed and fled out of their houses immediately.
While my site is now complete, All Hands projects are still in progress at other earthquake affected areas. My fund raising page is still live until my birthday in July so any donation amounts are still welcome! Please find my fund raising page here

Volunteers come from far away countries, some from the other end of the globe to help but I haven't met many volunteers from South East Asia...we are near so its not hard to get to Nepal... if you have time consider becoming a volunteer and make a difference too. Cheerios! 

*This post is not possible without the photo inputs of many friends... thanks to all that we have great record of memories to look back on. Thank you and can't wait for the reunion.

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