Last night Brad and I were getting ready for bed and we decided we would switch on the TV, one of the first TVs we've had access to since we started traveling. We have been pretty out of the loop, honestly. So we figured we'd see what kind of Thai pop music videos might be on or if we could catch a basketball game. Unfortunately what we saw was the breaking news of the horrifying earthquake in Nepal yesterday.
We are totally safe in Thailand right now having left Nepal on April 12th. Thank you for all of the concern over our whereabouts, it really means a lot to know so many people are looking out for us. My heart is breaking for Nepal today. While we were traveling there, Brad and I thought a lot about earthquakes, knowing how prone that area of the world is to tremors. The buildings throughout Kathmandu are a mishmash of very old and somewhat newer construction but nothing is built with earthquake safety in mind. Much of the city, including very old, historical temples and monuments have been devastated by earthquakes, the most destructive of which, until today, was in 1934. We also thought a lot about avalanches while we were hiking in the Annapurnas and we saw some very recent evidence of the snowy slides.
To me, Nepal is a country that appears to be perpetually recovering from a natural disaster, getting by on the minimal infrastructure that exists. There are regular load shedding power outages. The few roads are barely able to contain the traffic that uses them. The international airport is at capacity. Kathmandu has a water shortage due to it's inability to harness the huge amount of water that comes off of so many mountains. Basic needs of most of the population are not met. People work really hard to build things by hand, moving rocks and pounding nails. And then an actual natural disaster devastates what the country has managed to achieve. It's the last thing any country needs but especially not Nepal. I'm very sad.
I feel really fortunate to be in Thailand right now. I feel grateful for my life and adventures we are having. This really is an amazing world. I think Brad and I will try to meet up with my brother, Joel, somewhere in southern Thailand in the next week or so. It'll be nice to hug some family!
Love to you all,