• Post category:Travel
  • Reading time:4 mins read
raithane multipurpose court meeting
Jayjeev, COMMITTED’s Executive Director meeting with the locals on a recent visit to Thangpakot. The building in the background, one of the three Raithane School buildings, has been destroyed, as you can see. The building housed the library, science lab and the computer lab among others.

This visit to the US started and has progressed uncharacteristically.

I lost my travel didgeridoo at the very start. (I left it in the airport taxi in Katmandu.)

I would then leave my iPad in the train traveling from Bellows Falls to NYC. (It would however get returned to me.)

I would lose my prescription shades (sunglasses). (The frames would break.)

The afternoon of April 24, I would lose my other prescription glasses — ones I had gotten the spring of 2004 in England and had traveled with me all these years all over, everywhere!

Little did I know, in less than 12 hours, I would stand to lose so SO much more….

The morning of April 25, I would wake up to news of a major earthquake in Nepal, to message after message — Facebook PM’s and emails etc. — from friends from all over the world asking me if my family and I are all right. I would myself send out loads of messages — FB PMs and SMS’ — to family members and friends asking the same. I would scour Facebook for signs of life and ‘like’ those posts as an expression of relief. Slowly, I would discover the damage and destruction it had caused.

The devastation wreaked by the calamity in many of the affected rural villages would be complete! Our project site of Thangpalkot and the surrounding VDC’s would suffer the same fate. See image below for a summary of some of the damages it had caused the VDC and its neighbors!

Earthquake Affected Map - Ilaka 12 Sindhupalchowk
This infograph was prepared by Jayjeev, Executive Director of COMMITTED, following a recent visit to the area. Click on the image for the original.
Legends: Ilaka = governmental administrative area; VDC = Village Development Committee; PS = Primary School; LS = Lower Secondary; SS = Secondary School; HS = Higher Secondary.

The people and children of Thangpalkot and its neighbors had very little to begin with. Now they have even less.

Since the quake, more and more of my time would be consumed by work related to it. I would, for instance, speak at schools and make presentations to community members, such as in Irvington and Minneapolis etc. about COMMITTED’s work and/or the calamity. I have been preoccupied mostly by the calamity and the fates of people and places back home.

But on the flip side, while losing some belongings of little value on this travel and losing much of value to the earthquake in Nepal, both COMMITTED and myself have gained a lot of support for our work.

We’re COMMITTED (to) bringing back the smiles on the faces of the children of the area. We’re determined to bringing back the smiles on faces of the beautiful children of the area.

young students 451

If interested in helping us in our endeavor, here are some suggestions for what you can do:

  • Donate to our cause.
  • Volunteer for us outside or in Nepal.
  • Raise funds on our behalf the way a number of our friends around the world are doing.
  • Publicize our work on social media. (We are on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google.)

Since the earthquake of April 25, while my absent-mindedness has caused me to lose more things of little value, the earthquake continues to take away much much more — many irreplaceable! Here in the US, I have lost a face cleanser (left behind at Hotel Winneshiek in Decorah, IA) and my black windcheater jacket (left behind at Rochester airport). Back home, my country has lost many structures of great cultural and historical value. I also lost a young man, a gentle man, a very very polite man, Rudra, a former colleague.

So, of course, this travel promises to also conclude uncharacteristically; I’ll return to a different country, a much changed country, a country in ruins…but not beaten!



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