Nepal Update 5/27/15
Lightning Strike hits camp...
A monster nighttime thunderstorm with torrential monsoon rains swept through our Gorkha campsite late in the night. One huge bolt hit our camp, and Daniel got zapped in his tent by high voltage ground current. He reports that he saw a blue arc flash across his metal tripod, lighting up the inside of his tent with a simultaneous electrifying jolt that ran through his left arm...still tingling today but functional. It was raining so hard, with so much thunder and lightning that no one knew he had been hit. It was a close one, as we were far more worried about earthquakes and landslides than lightning.
The road to upper Gorkha got washed out by the heavy rains so we had to adjust plans accordingly. We distributed shelters to the locals yesterday, and demonstrated the set-up techniques, so they were already en route the various villages by tractor, motorcycle and foot, accompanied by members of our Mission Himalaya team to supervise construction. We also restocked the local health posts and treated numerous patients. With the pre-monsoon rains upon us we retreated using a jeep trail, dodging herds of goats, wash outs and slides, and re-crossed the Trisuli River. Because we had a bit of extra time, we decided to head to Pokhara. Even the main paved road was washed out in places and, in one section, they had spotters watching for large rocks tumbling down the mountainsides into the road. The spotters would signal traffic to stop, as rocks the size of trash cans rolled down across the road, then signal for us to rush across the danger zone a couple of vehicles at a time.
Once we arrived in Pokhara we met with our eye-project monks at Pema Ts'al Sakya Monastic Institute, and also with our partners at The Himalaya Eye Hospital. Our present plan is to head back to Kathmandu tomorrow in order to evaluate earthquake damage in several of the smaller and poorer surrounding communities.