Nepal | Earthquake | Part 4
The next day Amir took us to two orphanages, he had information that they needed help so we agreed to go check out the situation to see if there was anything we could do.
He had arranged three 4x4s as transport for our team for the time we would be in Nepal, so we hopped in one and headed to an orphanage called the Lotus Children's Home. It wasn't too far from us so it was our first stop.
It was located off the main road down a semi dirt track. It was a tall, fairly narrow building, housing between 15 and 20 children. We weaved our way through the courtyard, scattered with debris, there was a tent in the corner and numerous vehicles that looked abandoned. Straight away we noticed the deep cracks snaking their way up the facade of the home. The owners nervously told us they had all been sleeping in one of the vans in the courtyard as they were terrified the building would come down.
Cautiously we headed inside. Olly, our architect/surveyor, set to work checking the integrity of the building as best he could. His prognosis was actually pretty good, sure it needed to be repaired, sure if there was another earthquake it could well come down...just like every other building in the area, but as it stood currently, it was sound. But obviously this did little for their confidence - who can predict the next quake. Or that an aftershock isn't just big enough to bring it down.
I jumped in the back of the van to speak with the kids. They were all pretty intrigued by us so I though it might take their mind off things. There was a guitar, I picked it up and started to play a few chords...they edged closer, curious little faces, grinning, eyes wide, I can't remember what I played, nothing special I'm sure!
Just to quickly touch on a topic of orphanages in Nepal. There is a 'trade' in Nepal for orphanages and some are not very trustworthy or reputable. I've heard a lot of horror stories, not just in Nepal, about these kinds of setups. All I can say is we, with Amir's help, did our due diligence as much as possible and this place checked out both in research and in person.
Onwards next to the Dada Gaun Childrens Home. The information we had was that it has been flattened and there were multiple children housed there who were now sleeping in a tent.
We met the people who ran the home. They were really nice, the vibe here seemed really progressive, even though the situation wasn't good, the carers were much more like mentors and teachers, the kids were super smart and positive in-spite of everything. Kids are always resilient in bad situations. Mum set about assessing the needs while Olly and I helped clear some of the rubble. we decided pretty quickly that we'd fund the rebuild, Olly made some measurements and had a think about how best to rebuild.
After a day shifting rubble and chatting, they insisted they cook for us so we stayed for delicious local food!
We headed home, stopping at a town on the way, there was a beautiful house there with some serious structural damage. We stopped so Olly could give them some advice, it looked pretty bad, and he suggested that they don't stay.
It was getting late, the Spanish team had arrived, time to do our greetings, find some food and go to bed! It had been a long day for everyone and tomorrow was only going to be longer...
You can find the other parts to this story below! Thanks for your support.