Day Ten – Another Quake
After years of teaching earthquake prep and never having actually felt an earthquake, I was hoping that these few weeks in Nepal might be my time:) This past Sunday I felt a slight rumble during a 4.2. My friend had to confirm that it was indeed an aftershock. As far as I was concerned, it could have just been a big truck driving by—buildings in Nepal are often shaken by this. However, yesterday saw a 7.3 or 4, and there was no question what was happening. I was alone on the bottom floor of my friend’s house. The quake alarm sounded, I grabbed my go-bag (packed a couple days before, just in case this happened) and shot out the front door. By the time I made it out the front, the earth began to shake in a circular motion. It seemed to do this for a good 25-30 seconds. Once the shaking stopped, the earth swayed back and forth for about another 30. It was surreal. I of course have never felt anything like it. The closest thing I can compare the swaying to is like being on a boat, only instead of rocking back and forth, up and down, it was side to side, like being on a mobile platform that was gently being pushed and pulled, back and forth. It was strange…and eery. The streets were quickly flooded with people, some crying, some laughing, all uneasy. Thirty-three minutes later there was a 6.3 aftershock, and this was followed by several more.
Following the quake, I walked to Jawalakhel where I was to meet an OM worker to discuss distribution plans for Upper Rasuwa (see Nepal Days 3-8). The OM worker was unable to meet as she was kept on the other side of town by the quake. It was then that I met my friends in the above pic. They asked me to come back to the orphanage with them (Abba House), stay the night and review earthquake prep with them and the kids. They then wanted to pass on the info to their neighbors. Ash and I acted as orphanage parents to Abba House before we were married, and have continued a very blessed relationship with them ever since—the Abba family is very close to our hearts! This is how I found them when I arrived—under the trampoline:)
My friend Buddha and I went to pick up some temporary housing kits that some other ‘bideshis’ (foreigners) have been putting together. The Abba family spent the rest of the night erecting two of them, plus three tents covered by tarps. I sat up into the night reminiscing and joking with some of the older boys and Buddha.
The next day, the older boys were back to work, preparing temporary housing kits to be sent out to Nepali families who need them.
Spent the morning with Hari KC’s wife, Aleina. Hari is a great friend and national partner to both myself and Nathan (missions pastor, Sojourn Community). Hari was out of the valley during the quake yesterday and neither Aleina nor I could get a hold of him. At my wife’s suggestion, I went to check on Aleina and their baby girl Tirza. They were fine. We had coffee and talked for a while. She was greatly encouraged by the check in. Five minutes after I left, she heard from Hari. He was unaffected by the quake or subsequent landslides, and is due to arrive tonight:).
Some of my foreign friends are beginning to come back in country—though some of them have extended their stay outside. A great friend and partner in ministry to M-sl-ms arrived this afternoon. I’ll be seeing him soon. Tomorrow I’ll be meeting the Rhadka (OM) to discern distribution of tarps in Upper Rasuwa later this week. The trip was meant to happen today, but was postponed due to the quake. Please pray for wisdom and safety. Please also continue to pray for my family while I’m away. It’s not easy being a single parent of four, or four children to only one parent. Thanks to all of you who have been serving us this past week and a half—it’s an incredible blessing and a beautiful picture of the church!!!