Friday, May 29, 2015

Nepal Earthquake Aftershocks Continue...

Kathmandu experienced five aftershocks yesterday while our team was driving back from Pokhara. The drive from Pokhara is quite an experience as it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 hours depending on road conditions, landslides, traffic and wrecks. It is a narrow two lane highway winding up and down steep hills through rural villages and small towns along the way. It is also a major transportation portal and the only major east/west road in the area, so carries massive amounts of traffic of every type...huge trucks driven by kids who can hardly reach the pedals, overloaded busses fishtailing around corners, tractors, vans, motorcycles carrying freight and multiple passengers. Every vehicle constantly honks their horn signaling attempts to pass the slower smoke spewing vehicles ahead regardless of oncoming traffic or blind corners ahead. Adding to the excitement are the numerous pedestrians along the roadsides, along with chickens, goats, dogs, children and crossing traffic of every possible type. With no breakdown lanes, disabled vehicle park in the roadway attempting repairs on-site. Head on collisions are common, and charred wrecks adorn the roadside. It is always an adventure. We made it in 7 hours with only dozen or so close calls.
Upon arrival we had a strategy meeting with our partners at Kathmandu based Mission Himalaya, determine that our major emphasis moving forward needs to be housing, especially with the approaching monsoon. This morning our team will be performing site visits and evaluations on the Sankhu area NE of Kathmandu, and another area S of Kathmandu where we have been providing free meals with our "hot kitchens". In both of these areas the population is quite poor and the destruction has been massive.

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