This is a very sad and hard post to write and I am writing it in case people are checking in here to see that I am OK and that my darling friends and family over here are safe. First of all, yes we are. We were terribly frightened here in the east and can only begin to imagine how much more terrifying it must have been closer to the epicentre. We experienced two major quakes which caused power poles to sway and we all ran out of the building where we were working. Some of the ladies here must have supersonic quake detectors and we were out of that building faster than you can imagine. At the first mere rumble, which could have been a bike going past, two or three shouted Earthquake to the rest of us and we were downstairs and out. With the people from all the houses around us, we watched and waited. People texting and messaging to see what was happening and where the epicentre was.
It felt like being on a ship in really rough seas and seemed to go on for a long time but obviously was shorter than it felt! We returned to work after the first quake but after the second one, every one was too jumpy and nervous so we all went home to watch the tragedy unfold. People wanted to be with their families if anything else happened.
Last night, we put off going to bed in a way. Some watched the news in horror. Kopila and I tried to busy ourselves with things that needed to be done, orders to write up, talks to prepare, anything to put off going to bed and waiting. We kept reading the Samunnat Facebook page and all the messages of love and support. Cried. We all slept downstairs, piling into two rooms. And this morning, there was that initial sense of Was that a nightmare? and then the horrible reality that in this country I love so much, there is so much loss of life and destruction. The death toll is 1500 and rising and magnificent history crumbled and lost.
I must confess that I am glad I am not heading to Kathmandu immediately. In both the office building and the home here, we have an open field opposite and are not surrounded by high buildings. We will work today. Government offices will be shut for three days but the thought of sitting around fearfully waiting, as one of our supporters on email aptly described it, is too awful. We will keep going and just hope that recovery can be underway soon.
Thank you everyone for caring.