Sunday, April 26, 2015

Tears for Nepal

I have never been there ... but I feel as if I am connected to that country in a way I cannot describe. It has been on my spiritual radar since I was a child when I  first became aware of the allure of big big mountains; and even as a child I was well aware of its spiritual magnetism. This year - in November - I planned to go there. That is; it was my plan before April 25th happened. 
How can one begin to describe the impact of such an event? I for one am gob-smacked. Those of us who were caught amongst the chaos of the 2011 quakes will understand well the feelings of dread and the over-whelming sense of fear with each one of those after-shocks.  There is a world of difference though between New Zealand's ability to bounce back from such devastation, and the ability for a country such as Nepal.
Nepal is traditionally viewed as being one of the poorest countries on the planet. To me it depends how you define "poor". If you talk about poor as having a low GDP then sure, Nepal is poor; but actually as a geographical landscape Nepal is rich. Spiritually Nepal is rich. It draws people in.
This small country between India and China is on the shelf of deep tectonic forces between the Indian and Eurasian plates; hence the Himalaya's. It is rich in agriculture - making the best out of its rugged landscape, and it is also a trekkers and mountaineers Mecca; with April/May being the peak season for these activities. Nepal has increasingly relied on the growing income produced by the burgeoning tourism industry.  This quake will be felt heavily in that area of the economy. Think what the 2011 quakes did in New Zealand - a rugby world cup year at that!
Nepal also relies heavily on the support and funding provided through non-government organisations. Such organisations have enabled Nepal to build upon the strengths and abilities of its own people through utilising the wealth and knowledge of foreign funding programmes; and there are dozens and dozens of these in the country.
Now more than ever these agencies will be needed to rebuild - yet again (many were set up after recent political unrest); Nepal's delicate economy and infrastructure. The ripple effect of this quake in the months and years to come, on the Nepalese people will be devastating. However; familiar with living in less than ideal situations - with overcrowding in KTM; lack of continuous electricity a feature of daily Nepalese life ; and tenuous drinking water; these gentle-hearted people's are resoundingly resilient.  They have warmed to the hearts of the entire world, as evidenced by the pledges for aid by the majority of the Nations on this planet. The home to Sagarmatha (Mt Everest) it's spell-binding beauty may be forever changed, but Nepal will endure.

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