5:50 I woke up but I didn’t sleep so well as it was very hot in my tent. The water buffalo who had moved in next to me has been very lonely and unhappy. I didn’t feel so well but I didn’t know if it was “sunstroke” or if I’m getting a bit of a cold. I took an aspirin to help me recover. I probably didn’t drink enough yesterday as well. At 03:30 there was another aftershock that also made me wake up.
6:00 I started cooking my breakfast which was freeze-dried rice pudding with strawberries. Shyam popped up and said good morning! After this I ate my breakfast and drank my coffee.
6:30 Shyam and I met and started planning the day as well as our purchases that we wish to make for the villagers. We realised that it was probably best if we left as soon as possible, we felt a little worried that stocks would run out in Kathmandu very soon. There is a bank holiday coming up as well so it is best to go soon. Karma helped us to fix a car that would arrive later on today. Our purchase list for Kathmandu looks like this:
-Baby formula, feeding bottles and blankets for all the families who have children under 2 years (there are about 60-70 families with small children in the village)
-More tarpaulin to those who have no tent yet, we believe there were about 50 families who are in need of “residence”. We feel a bit worried that we will find tarpaulin for everyone as we have heard that the they are running low in Kathmandu.
-Diarrhea tablets, antipyretic, plasters, wound cleaning equipment, bandages, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste to everyone in the village.
-Footballs and cricket balls, we believe that it is good “medicine” for children and young people in the village.
-More rice, salt and sugar for the orphan children.
8:00 I started to walk around the village along with Shyam and I we invited people to the big lunch party. We walked past the Home of Hope and Shyam says he believes that within about 5 days it would be possible for 3-5 workers to come together who can help us with the disassembly, sort stone and start the re-building work. It is difficult to get hold of people when everyone is busy trying to build themselves a temporary home.
9:00 There was a goat slaughter for today’s celebration lunch, this is where you cut the head of a goat. One elderly man did it and the younger ones took care of the animal after slaughter under a supervisory eye of the man. Some parts are removed and dried to eat later and the stomach as well as intestines were removed, apart from this most of it went in the pot. It was a big pot of goat and spices to boil and potatoes were boiled with curry.
11:00 The party had begun, there were about 50-60 adults on site and lots of children! The atmosphere was very good, everyone was happy and talking to each other. I think it’s very special for them to get to eat meat, it isn’t so often they get that chance. Everyone was very involved in the cooking process, as everyone was lending a hand! I saw their gratitude, and I was delighted!
13:00 We left Ratankot on a motorcycle to save time, instead of walking as we normally do. I sat on the back of Shyam’s friend’s motorcycle. It was a very bumpy ride, it would drop down a lot and it was a bit scary at first but then I got used to it after a while. I had packed my camping stove, my freeze-dried food, telephone, camera all in a small backpack that I had on my back. We went to the main road, which is the route to Everest, where we will be picked up by Karma and Shyams brother Prem.
15:15 The car had the brothers sitting in the back sat and I got to sit in the front. On the journey to Kathmandu I got to see what a shamble the last earthquake has created. The houses have collapsed completely and we almost met a ghost town, all the residents have moved out of their towns and live in tents, shelters, along the roads, or in open fields. Half the houses had fallen in the streets so there was only one lane in most places. There were a lot of cracks in the road, as well as pulp rockslides. When I saw all this, I realised how lucky me and Karma had been when it happened. It felt incredibly sad to see all the destruction that has taken place, if another earthquake was to take place then there won’t be any houses left. There was little traffic on the road, because the road to China is cut off because it had collapsed completely. It usually allows goods vehicles to travel between Nepal and China. We see many UN vehicles after the road had ended. Some places we pass there were not nearly as many damaged houses so it varied a lot on where you were situated to how much you were affected. The town we were in when the earthquake came was one of the worst hit, this meant the entire hospital had collapsed.
18:45 I am finally back to the monastery in Kathmandu, where Karma was waiting for us. He said that he managed to buy 70 blankets which we will give to the families with the youngest children. I got to see them and they were really thick fine fleece blankets so it will be great! We planned tomorrow that I will go to Karma’s shop at 08:00 and then we’ll get to work. We would start by visiting the bank, keep fingers crossed so I can withdraw cash with Lööf Foundation card that covers all purchases. It is difficult in Nepal to pay by card as they don’t usually have card readers. Sophie and I are a little concerned that there might be problems with the ATM withdrawals but we hope there isn’t.
19:30 I started a washing machine, then cooked and ate my food. I wrote my daily diary entry and then I spoke to Sophie. It felt good to share what I had experienced. There are many thoughts that still spun in my head so it is good that I get to do both the diary and have the chance to talk to Sophie about my experiences. I started to feel tired and worn, a little ill as well so I will take a shower and then try to sleep early. Good night and thank you for today!