At Ama Ghar, we are so lucky to have gotten through the earthquake relatively unscathed – a few cupboards and bookshelves were emptied of their contents, but our house, which was designed with earthquakes in mind, came through intact. It was chilling for us to see the rental house that we moved out of in 2010 after the quake – it was completely demolished. We slept outside in tents for the first few nights, even though the house was standing, because the aftershocks were terrifying. A wonderful Swiss family who was staying with us helped with immediate needs, like organizing supplies – and they even helped to splint the leg of a neighbor with a broken bone.
The children continue to be a joy even in the midst of tragedy. When the earthquake first struck, we had just finished picking potatoes, and piled them on the terrace outside the kitchen door. As the earth began to shake, our 5-year-old Rekha ran into the kitchen yelling, “Uma Didi, the potatoes are jumping, the potatoes are jumping!” And our younger boys gave away their small tent, one of their favorite places to play, to a 72-year-old neighbor lady who lives alone and needed shelter.
The boys helped to build temporary shelters and we gave away our tents, started distributing food, and purchased medicines that we gave to our local Health Center for distribution. We are in the process of taking bags of rice and dal out into the villages, prioritizing families with children and the elderly.
Thank you to all of you who have contributed to our Ama Ghar Earthquake Relief Fund at https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/ama-ghar-community-earthquake-relief/ or through the DONATE NOW button on this website. We will continue distributing food and medicine and we are working on a source for durable tents for long-term use by villagers while their homes are being re-built. We will send updates on a regular basis so that you will see the good that you are doing with your generous gifts.