Snot Nosed Aid Worker, Nepal Part 2

In Humanitarian Response, Nepal on May 2, 2015 at 5:48 am
Saturday, 2 May 2015, Kathmandu
Yesterday I got a tiny taste of the field work.  We received a shipment of various household goods that had come overland from our India office. Three giant trucks, loaded with sleeping mats, blankets, soap, buckets, tarps, and rope, enough for about 500 families.  Our initial goal was to unload the trucks and then put about 300 kits together.  I helped unload, we got about 1 1/3 of the way done unloading when it became evident we were way understaffed, so we left the rest for today.  They ended up completing that today, and tomorrow there will be an initial distribution to 250 households, or about 1250 people (we average 5 people per household in Nepal.)
Going to where we were unloading the trucks, I got to ride across the city and see a little bit more.  The damage from the earthquake varied from untouched to totally destroyed.  There were some new construction sites where you could tell they were using reinforced concrete with rebar, those places seemed like they were in good shape.  There were a couple of tall apartment/office buildings with big cracks; those probably won’t survive another big shake without being reinforced. There are some really quaint looking parts to this town. I’m bummed I have to come here after so much has been destroyed.
For a country prone to earthquakes I’m surprised with the amount of brick construction they’ve used. The regular, small red bricks. Blocks of buildings are made with bricks – the structures that were not buttressed by neighboring properties mostly fell down; lots of roofs had caved in as well. Many brick walls have fallen – this makes it interesting because it exposes some of the fancier properties that were previously very private.

Change of subject… I’ve got such a cold, it’s annoying.  My colleagues here will remember me as the dude with the cough and runny nose. So far the food here has been pretty good.  They like spicy food, which is nice. Lots of rice, lentils, and veggies, it’s very simple. My guest house host makes me a nice omelet in the morning.


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