Guest Bloggers Christoffer & Corinne’s impressions from their research trip to Gorkha and around.

On Saturday the 13th 8 people from Tings went up to the villages near Gorkha to witness the destruction and consequences of the EQ – and to collect valuable information for upcoming rebuild projects

Impressions By Guest Bloggers: Corinne Naturel & Christoffer Rømer

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So the story begins at the jungle trail,

… we arrived late at night trying to get to Muchok, the first village we went to, to see the damages of the EQ.

We arrived at a small village in the valley below Muchok, we were all tired after a long drive, through mud, small rivers and completely destroyed roads. We needed to get going before it would get too dark, but the villagers insisted on feeding us before our long walk.

We finished eating and then of course the monsoon came flushing in, we were stuck, and not knowing that our walk would be straight uphill, in total darkness.

This road is the same we walked on in the middle of the night with only a few torches and flashlight to keep us orientated.

When we finally reached the village after a long and tiring one and half hour walk, in pitch dark, in the jungle, we were soaked in sweat and completely worn out. However, our long walk was rewarded with one of the warmest welcomes we’ve ever got.

While we were waiting for the second team to arrive we were offered cold water, snacks and hukka (the local chicha) which is basically a water pipe. When the group was complete and we all had time to rest, we were served dal bhat, the nepali national dish.

To help us digest, we were given a glass of roksi, a local drink made out of fermented rice. The youngsters started to play the nepali drum, and sang for us.

David And Christoffer joined and danced with them. When the roksi kicked in, our shyness disappeared and we all enjoyed the improvised party. After the party, we hit the sack to recharge for the long day ahead.

All in all we couldn’t have been welcomed any better!

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The cute little house you see in the background is Bishnu’s parents house.

Like most of the village, it was damaged by the 25th of April massive EQ. As Muchok is located just 13 km from the epicenter, the damages were huge.

We spent the day walking around the village and witness the collapsed buildings and devastated lives. But despite everything, people were cheerful and very positive. Luckily if we can say it like that, the quake happened on a Saturday, midday, and most of the people were out in the field, and the pupils were off school.

The house, that was also the community house where they would all gather for celebration is just downhill from the village’s primary school. The children are now studying in terrible conditions, under tin roofs or tents, in a heavy heat and soon, they will also suffer from the monsoon’s heavy rain.

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They say, if it’s easy, it’s not worth it.

This, we experienced first hand when, on our way back home from our 3-days trip, sleeping on concrete, driving on completely dilapidated roads and with cracked and bruised bodies, our car broke down just 5 minutes after we had done our last survey.

We were looking forward to coming home, dreaming of a shower and a good night’s sleep, but only we didn’t know it would take a while before we’d get to that.

We heard a funny noise, then the car stopped and we quickly came to realize that something was wrong. After 5 minutes of trying, we figured out the clutch was broken.

Nepali mountain roads 1 – our car 0!

We were wrecked, warm and filthy, and this was the last thing we needed. While discussing our ways to get home in one piece, without spending one more day in the mountains, a miracle happened! A local bus pulled up asking if we needed a ride. We all gladly hopped on the bus, abandoning our loyal driver Arjun behind.

When we thought that our misadventure was over, we realized that the worst was to come: 3 hours on an old and rusty bus through one of the bumpiest road we’ve ever drove on.

It was much more difficult and painful for David and Christoffer, who are very tall and definitely not made for a bus ride anywhere in Asia!

Thankfully, we made it back to Gorkha where another car was waiting to drive us back to Kathmandu.

It was a long and overwhelming trip, but at the end of the day, we came back with a lot of great memories that we will never forget.

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