East of Kathmandu
In the morning I went running in the mountain village and met many of the locals who lost their homes, no injuries that I could discern from speaking to them. Some of them had already started to gather up the pieces to rebuild. There would be no immediate help from the government in such remote regions. A couple showed me their two houses all demolished but no one injured. Gokul and his wife looked resigned. More children came and surrounded us. An old blind man walked down the dirt road packed tightly with years of feet packing it down, feeling his way with a walking stick. Women washed their hair by the common water tap. A young woman who lost her home offered me a cup of hot spiced tea.
After I took a quick wash with scant water in a bucket, I saw the dehydrated boy in the ward and he seemed to be almost well. The medical officer and I saw a man with a chronic back condition and now had an acute back pain. We agreed on a trial of anti-inflammatory agents and he would be reassessed.
Our team leader finally got word that most of the remote regions here have no need for a medical team so we decamped. Before we did there were two more aftershocks, one measuring 4.2 Richter’s and about 10 km away. These two I felt the ground shake and rumble, more prominently because I was inside the cracked building.
We drove back the 7 hour drive to Kathmandu. Remnants of vehicles, at least three of them scattered over the steep slopes of the mountain, evidence of a fatal collision with vehicles and people plunging and hurtling helplessly to their death. We were aiming to meet with the Norwegian Red Cross which is setting up a field hospital two hours east of Kathmandu. Apparently after the major earthquake, there was another one to the east of Kathmandu in Sindhupalchowk District which has not drawn too much attention.
In our drive there, the Himalayas mountain range peeked through the clouds.Part of the road we traveled on was shifted into two levels, cracked and partially destroyed. As dusk descended, we drove through a few villages devastated by the earthquake.Rubble was strewn across the street, and people still walking around dazed.A family sat closely under a tarp slung over a piece of lumbar, while a woman built a fire to start cooking her evening meal.
We finally arrived at the compound of the Norwegian Red Cross and set up tents. I was very glad I washed in the morning, and there surely was no place to wash around here. I shared another MRE meal with an interpreter and retired to bed, never feeling the two aftershocks that rumbled through. The moon looked full tonight.