I had been away for nearly a month travelling and visiting friends and family in Europe. Christmas in France, 2016 greeted me in Finland I was somewhere between a 70 degrees sauna and a -4 degrees ‘Avanto’ a hole made in a frozen lake to dip into after/in between the sauna. The beginning of January was spent rediscovering Barcelona with my cousin – the architect studying there – so it was an extraordinary discovery of Barcelona its quaintest corners and squares but also its vibrant night life – casual and affordable. I loved all this I absolutely did – but the living in other people’s homes and the limited time alone got exhausting towards the end. My last 2 days in Paris, I was glad to walk around visiting amazing book stores all the time openly content that in a few days I would be back home in Nepal, in my apartment, alone for few days to recoup from my travels!
It has been awhile since I went to the camps in Kathmandu. I went a few weeks after the earthquake when people were just arriving from different affected districts, living in tents or under tarps, with no belongings, plastered limbs and bandaged wounds, no water or toilets. Bode Camp in Bhaktapur has evolved into a temporary community living space. The camp is organised into common areas, common kitchens, shared tents, water points and toilets. It has an office area, a child friendly space, a library, a computer and a printer. It has a group of young and motivated volunteers organising and coordinating to make sure their families, their neighbours and community members from their villages have basic living amenities.
It’s been 6 weeks since I came back to Kathmandu from my break. I was out of Nepal when the 25th April earthquake hit. I learnt about the earthquake in a casual conversation with friends of friends around a dinner table in Capadokya, Turkey. Like many people living abroad, I started looking for information online and on social media. Images of the Dharara tower in ruins, temples of the Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur Durbar Square were the first I saw. I was devastated.