Despite being advised against it, I was determined to drag my wheelie suitcase and two bags 5km across uneven ground to the bus station. The bus station didn’t really resemble a station as such but by Nepalese standards it was big – it had a sign. Usually people just stand at the side of the road and flag down the vehicle they wish to hop on.
I was practically sat on the drivers lap with the gear stick crammed against my leg the whole 4 hour journey. The dashboard features had long been broken and indicator was the drivers arm. I could forget about taking a loo or food break but if the locals were cool with it, so was I. At least I wasn’t one of the guys on the roof or hanging off the side. As we made up way up the winding mountain roads – roads without tarmac may I add – I noticed that Nepal was like no other country I have visited. The poverty here is far worse than I had ever come across before with people bathing in the streets and wearing no shoes and dirty worn clothes. It reminded me a little like some areas of Myanmar if I had to compare. A sad sight indeed.
I arrived at the volunteer base in good time and enjoyed MoMo’s (Tibetan dumplings) for dinner, a beer and some whisky with the others.
And then it happened.
The earth shook in an almighty roar and I just froze.
I followed the others outside in to an open space and waited until the power returned. Living in one of the worst hit areas of the 2015 earthquake I should have known there was a possibility it could happen again but I never in a million years thought I would experience an earthquake.
It was shocking. I can’t even describe the feeling. It was so unnatural and just terrifying really but thankfully everyone was ok and no damage was done. We later learnt that it measured 5.2 on the Richter scale. Wow. A reminder of the worries families here have each day. The story continues…