Diwas Photography community, friends, family.
So, things have settled a little bit since Diwas’ return. We are so forever thankful for your love, moral and financial support in his journey to Nepal to provide relief to our people. We are deeply grateful for the beautiful souls that reached out to our family while he was away. We are beyond touched and so appreciative of our global and local community that helped us move the vision of service forward in a seamless manner. From friends and family, to neighbors and our Diwas Photography network (wedding industry, networking groups, etc), from parenting groups to Seattle companies we work with and for… we were taken aback by your generosity, your trust, your wide open hearts, love and kindness. Your compassion expressed in so many ways to the people of Nepal and our family, will not soon be forgotten.
Just two weeks after the initial earth quake and countless hours of organizing, rallying and grieving, Diwas left to serve in Nepal with an open mind and heart. He had a long flight gifted to us by a cherished friend who wished she could have been along side of him, serving. Once he arrived safely to his family’s home in Kathmandu, he called home to Seattle to check in and provide a peace of mind. . . The peace of mind bit was unsuccessful as whilst on the phone, Nepal endured their second big quake. It was a rattling experience that absolutely built empathy for a fraction of distress his countryfolk had been experiencing the weeks prior and forthcoming.
Diwas was unable to go to the villages personally given the second quake, intense aftershocks, landslides and his flight timelines. However, he met and worked in partnership with many individuals and NGOs to learn their approach to relief and fiscally support their efforts. He was able to serve from behind the lens and through your generous donations in proving what the people needed. With your donations, he was able to purchase and fund recovery efforts in the most direct manner possible.
195 Corrugated Metal roofs, 119 tarps
$500 of medicines, 9 water filtration systems
1,454 lbs of rice, 132 lbs of lentils/dal
80-50lb bags to keep dry goods
60 pounds of noodles, 72 packs of biscuits
10 blankets, 4 rolls for duct tape, 12 Hard hats, 10 headlamps, 8 hammers
70,000 NRs to cover travel and relief expenses to friends and former colleagues.
Diwas speaks of his experience as being nearly indescribable, but when pushed: complex, truly heartbreaking. The earthquake took so much from the Nepali people. He was humbled as he listened to the stories of loss, and learned of the fear they so quickly acquired and will likely hold onto for quite some time to come. The quake itself created radical changes immediately from lives and homes being lost, to the survivors sleeping/camping outside to remain safe during the nights, to inflated costs of food/water, having to think three, four, or five times about going to the bathroom, taking a shower, spending time with loved ones indoors, or visiting a prayer room in the house…. in fear of the earth’s unsteadiness carrying them to their demise.
It’s been a rough go for him to travel home to Nepal, and a rough go leaving Nepal to travel back home to Seattle, WA. His time, although intense and nerve-wrecking, was also inspiring. It was inspiring to witness so many people he already held respect for rising to the challenge, move beyond the horrific government corruption and inability to meet the national needs while utilizing their skills and privilege to serve those that needed aid. It is our hope that the spark of service to others will continue to be fueled by the love and support of the global community – and that ideally, the altruism of the young people will empower and move the nation and government forward to create a thriving country.
Diwas toured Kathmandu, Patan, Bhaktapur visiting some of our family’s favorite places and spaces that have forever been changed. He visited friends, neighbors and family’s homes that had been destroyed, he visited with taxi drivers that lost everything. Here is what he was able to capture and share with you . . . . Do stay tuned as we will be continuing to fundraise, though Nepal and it’s current state has faded from the news and airways, the need is real and will continue to be real for years to come. We promise to do all we can to continue to support Nepal’s redevelopment.
A special thanks to our Nepali friends and community that helped Diwas in his service efforts. Kate and Amrit Ale, Tseten Lama, Kamaal Ahmad Miya, Jaggu Bista, Sabal Shrestha, Enayat Shah, Amit, Ashirbad & Ananda Sherchan.
Thank you to Sabin dai and Bhisma Gurung for driving me around to share the special places with me to photograph. Deepest appreciations.