Yesterday marked one year on from the devastating earthquake which struck Nepal on April 25th 2015, changing the courses of many lives for ever, including my own. At least, yesterday was the anniversary date in the Georgian calendar, as the Nepali calendar did not have a leap year in the last 12 months the Nepali commemorative date was actually a day earlier. This may not seem the most important fact to raise at this point but somehow that symbolises everything and starts to explain why I have posted today rather than yesterday. Let me explain;
Over the past week, as I read the hundreds of articles, professional commentaries and personal status updates of people expressing their memories, emotions and hopes related to the 2015 Nepal earthquakes, I came across this from Mahalaya Nepal which I thought started to explain what I was feeling;
““Don’t get too attached to anniversaries.” A friend had advised me. “Feel when you need to feel. Let your feelings rise, change and move on at their pace. Each day is its own day – live in your present.” But I’d attached a lot of importance to today, the anniversary of the quake, and saved up feelings to release today. Yet it turns out that in the Nepali calendar, the one which really matters here, the anniversary was yesterday. Today it is over, just another day, and again Nepal teaches us: don’t get attached, don’t let the external decide the internal. Feel when you need to feel. Let your feelings rise, change and move on at their pace. Each day is its own day – live in your present.”
So, maybe I’m more Nepali than I realised. As the anniversary approached I knew I should write something. I should update the kind people who have been following my movements since I first started on this adventure almost two years ago and especially those who followed closely the twists and turns brought about by last year’s earthquakes and the aftermath.
I should update the fact that I am indeed still here in Nepal despite not having posted anything in well over two months now (apologies!?) I should update that I am still working on a daily basis, currently on behalf of the 130 member organisations of the Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN), to try and support the Government in effective coordination of all reconstruction efforts across different sectors, across the 14 most affected districts.
Posting on the anniversary, would have been great timing to join my voice with the many others trying to remind the world that the aftermath of the great earthquake in Nepal is still far from over and reflecting on the long road left ahead.
Instead, I found I could only take a moment of reflection alone. I did not join the multitude of commemorative events due mainly to a combination of life continuing, with meetings and rehearsals to attend, but also, a strong feeling that yesterday, today and tomorrow are all equally important for the work to rebuild Nepal. I’m struggling to fully understand myself and definitely to explain it clearly, as it seems it is not the way most of the people around me feel, but I simply do not feel a strong attachment to this one day. I am deeply moved by the last 366 days (not forgetting that troublesome leap year). I am astounded by all I have seen and experienced since those first, horrible moments and those first uncertain hours. But the journey is long, to help get everybody affected back into their homes, their schools and their livelihoods and for them all to better prepared for whatever this beautiful, crazy country can and will throw at them next.
So, today I will reflect on the last 367 days. Today I will also work hard alongside countless others, to make one more small contribution in clarifying, facilitating and coordinating a smoother, more effective implementation of reconstruction efforts, to work to rebuild Nepal for the benefit of all those affected.