Thanks for all the comments and encouragement to wrap up this blogging adventure. I’m not sure why we didn’t write an ‘end of the adventure’ post, or an ‘exit Nepal’ post, but sorry to those of you we left hanging. Leaving Nepal and readjusting back to the U.S. definitely had its share of stories, from our son’s tumultuous transition to the American education system, a 3 month lag in Dave starting work, and little things like trying to get our daughters to eat American food like such as dogs and macaroni and cheese and simply trying to figure out what in world all the little multi colored packets were at Starbucks and where was just the plain sugar.
We have not felt wholly settled in America since our return at the end of December. It was almost we still have one foot in Nepal and hadn’t fully made the shift. In our adjustment months, both Dave and I felt an underlying uneasiness. “It’s as if I’ll never be perfectly happy again, living like this knowing what the world is like in Nepal,” described Dave. “Something about me is different,” I would attempt to explain to friends who insisted everything was exactly the same. There wasn’t any one thing we could put a finger on, and we didn’t have a good excuse to be so unsettled and so we’ve been faking it along in this weird duality the last few months until April 25th.
My phone started lighting up at 2 in the morning with tweets and messages and alerts of the 7.8 earthquake in Nepal. Then began our heart pounding rush to find out as much information as we could, to make contact with those who weren’t confirmed safe and the helpless despair that we were in the wrong place and it seemed as if nothing could be done.
There was an avalanche of emotions; we were grateful for our safety, but guilty that we were alright and so many weren’t, frustration that it seemed as if there was nothing we could do and heartbreak at the suffering and destruction we were seeing from photos and hearing from our friends.
Maybe this ‘foot in both worlds’ feelings we have had since our return will serve us well as Dave arrived in Nepal this morning. He returned with Samaritan’s Purse to aid in the relief efforts because he is a doctor and because he speaks Nepali, but also as a representative of our family, to give hugs and to cry with our friends and to encourage them in the hope that “…we need not fear, though the earth be moved and the mountains tremble to the heart of the sea.” The plan was for him to help with the SP medical team that is on the ground there, but we got a phone call the night before he left that the medical team was leaving. He will join the general relief team intead, and we are not exactly sure all of what that entails; food distribution, tent set up, housing assessment. He will be based in Kathmandu and possibly travel to some of the more remote villages which have been effected by the most recent earthquake on May 12. We also hope he gets a chance to remind people of the hope the we have beyond the ruin of a home, beyond the death of a loved one, beyond seeing your country suffer and people in pain. It is hard to remember this when you are in the midst of the struggle and it is good to have a friend come along side and remind you.
Nepal is a tremendously beautiful and volatile country, but it’s people are hardy and steadfast. Nepal may never be able to recover some of the beautiful and historic heritage sites, but the people will carry on, communities will come back and the beautiful culture and graciously hospitality that makes Nepal special will continue.
Dave is going to try posting about what he is seeing and what is going on over there, and I will post with any updates I’m getting from here and less interestingly what is happening on the home front. Our friends from Tansen who were there for the first earthquake and have participated in the relief efforts have excellently chronicled the entire experience here;
So I guess our blog days are not over yet and we continue on in adventures of serious people and clowns.
Thanks for being interested.
SO fun to get another Hough blogpost! Thanks for this, Hannah. Great to hear that Dave made it to KTM alright, and it will be good to see him if he makes it out to Tansen this time. I’m really looking forward to seeing you guys and catching up when I’m back home at the end of the year! Miss you. =)