As some of you may know, myself and Jason spent a month in Nepal a couple of years ago which you can read all about here. It is a beautiful country with even more beautiful, loving and happy people. During our time in Nepal we did a trek in the Himalayas. It was probably one of the best things that I’ve ever done in my life. It was challenging, breathtaking and extraordinary.
We had decided to hire a guide to help us during the trek and it is a decision that I am so happy with. We ended up spending 7 days with the lovely Bolle. He is such a great person and by having him as our guide he gave us a more in depth look at the life of a Nepali. We stayed in beautiful family homes along the way, using Bolle as a translator to get to know and understand these people more.
After our 7 days together, Bolle had invited us to have dinner with his family, an invitation that we graciously accepted. He lives in Patan which is a small city near Kathmandu, in fact we managed to walk there from our guesthouse in Kathmandu which took us about an hour but, again, gave us a great insight in to Nepal and its people.
Most people don’t know poverty, true poverty. I grew up in a struggling family. My dad died when I was a baby, leaving my mom to bring up 4 children by herself. But the poverty that Bolle and his family face is something entirely different. Bolle, his wife and two children all live in one room. They have a double bed for the four of them and no bathroom. There is an outhouse outside that is used by people in the area.
Even though they were obviously so poor, they also seemed so happy. The children very content in their lives and the few things that they had and Bolle and his wife in their strong pride that they hold for their two boys.
The children were shy at first, but opened up once I let them take photos on our camera. After that they beamed with confidence and joy. Bolles beautiful wife was so modest but cooked us an amazing meal of Dal Bhat. We left that evening with our hearts and our stomachs full.
When news of the earthquake in Nepal broke my first thought was of poor Bolle and his family. I sent an e-mail to him asking if they were okay and what we could do to help. We had a nervous few days waiting for a reply, all the while seeing photos of collapsed buildings and temples in Patan. But luckily he wrote back saying that they were all safe but they lost everything. Their house, their belongings, their animals. All was gone. They were now living under a plastic roof.
Myself and Jason quickly e-mailed our friends here in Korea to see if they wanted to help. Luckily between us we managed to raise $650 for Bolle and his family. It’s not a lot but I’m hoping that it will be enough to get them by for the next few months, especially since there probably won’t be many trekkers needing guides in the near future. I haven’t heard from Bolle since the second earthquake but I’m just hoping that they are all safe.
How you can help:
If you would like to donate to the victims of the earthquakes in Nepal there are many ways. You can find a link to 10 great charities to donate to here.
If you have been considering visiting Nepal then don’t cancel just yet. So many people in this country are dependent on tourist money and by just visiting this country you will be helping.
If you are considering doing a trek anywhere in Nepal please consider hiring Bolle as your guide. He has trekked so many of the major mountains in Nepal and is very informative. You can contact him at email@example.com