I met Karma when I moved back to Boulder a year and a half ago. His sweet disposition intrigued me and as we talked about adventure travel, the mountains and our memories of living in Telluride, I knew Karma was the real deal. I frequently expressed my curiosity for Nepal and his upbringing there and unfortunately, it was not until the second devastating earthquake that I started to learn about Karma's shattered hometown, family and friends.
Rather than retelling a story that has already been written, here is an update from Karma's relief team sent over to help his family and friends rebuild their lives.
Click here to donate, even a few dollars goes a long way!
May 18, 2015 Update: RELIEF TEAM ASSISTING REMOTE VILLAGE WHEN SECOND EARTHQUAKE HIT; KARMA SHERPA'S HOME VILLAGE NOW DESTROYED
The Immediate Disaster Relief & Support Team organized and orchestrated by Karma Sherpa, owner of the Colorado-based trekking company Sherpa Mountain Adventures, traveled to and was assisting the remote Himalayan village of Charikot when the second major earthquake hit Nepal on May 12, 2015. Charikot is approximately 130 km east of the country's capital city, Kathmandu. The team purchased tents, blankets, food, and water that they bought with YOUR DONATIONS and was distributing the supplies to the villagers when the ground began to shake again. With the earthquake's epicenter only being approximately 50 kms away, buildings began to crumble around them. The team immediately sprung into action, pulling bodies out of the wreckage and searching for survivors trapped in the rubble of their own homes. The team worked to stabilize broken bones, tend to bleeding wounds, and comfort frightened children. Although all of the team members survived, they did not leave the village unaffected by this second horrific experience.
After the team was evacuated out of Charikot, they took 48 hours off to rest and assess the damage to their own homes.
It is with great grief that we report Karma Sherpa's home village, Taksindu and Cchulemu, was destroyed in the second earthquake. The two side-by-side villages consist of 32 houses and one school. Approximately 10 of those homes are entirely collapsed. The remaining 22 are partially collapsed or otherwise so unstable that they are uninhabitable. The village's school is also destroyed so now children do not have a school to attend. The fact that the school is destroyed is a very emotional matter for Karma because his family established the school back when he was a young boy. Karma remembers that his mother would go around the village collecting 20 rupees a day from families that were able to donate, and she used that money to pay the village school teacher. Since those days, the government began providing funding to pay for a teacher, but his emotional and family tie to the fallen school still remains.
As a result, the team has set out to provide aid to Karma Sherpa's home village. Yesterday, the team gathered the supplies that YOUR DONATIONS purchased, which consisted of 50 tents, 35 30-kg bags of rice, bedding, and other fresh food, and loaded up a rental jeep. They drove for approximately 24 hours from Kathmandu to reach Taksindu and Cchulemu, but the road would not take them all the way. Last night, they set up camp to rest, and tomorrow morning (tonight USA time) they will begin their walk through the Himalayas to reach Taksindu and Cchulemu. They will carry the relief supplies on their backs. To the team's knowledge, no other means of relief has yet to reach Taksindu and Cchulemu.
Once the team arrives, they will distribute the supplies to the village families and begin building more stable, durable shelters. It is monsoon season in Nepal now, so the ground will remain very wet for the next couple months. As a result, the villagers cannot begin to rebuild their homes now. This means that they will have to remain living in the tents and the other temporary structures that team is able to build for them until monsoon season ends.
The Kathmandu market is currently experiencing a shortage on relief supplies, including tents. As a result, Karma has 8 of the 15 team members waiting back in Kathmandu for more supplies. Karma anticipates that he will be able to send another jeep to full of team members and supplies to Taksindu and Chhulemu in the next couple days.
This is a very hard and emotional time for Karma Sherpa and his family. Please keep them in your thoughts and continue donating and sharing the story of our relief efforts!
by Sherpa Mountain Adventures, Karma Sherpa