After the Nepal Earthquake

After the Nepal Earthquake

Travel to Nepal

 

After the Nepal Earthquake

 

 

“We have to de-mythicize this earthquake. There were so many images of disaster, destruction and horror wherever I looked on the Internet. When I got to Nepal, I kept asking myself, ‘Where are all the damaged buildings?’ I couldn’t find any,” Stacie Chan said, discussing how some of her preconceived notions of the recent earthquake changed when she traveled to Nepal. “Of course, I cannot forget the thousands of people who have lost their lives and thousands who are still suffering. Nepal is a beautiful place; there is so much more to it than just this earthquake."

 

While there was loss and damage due to the earthquake of April 25th, 2015, it was largely confided to a relatively few districts and that the remaining districts were largely unaffected. The day will live long in our memories as the Gorkha Earthquake struck. At the Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge, there were some 14 guests, all were safe. The staff responded excellently, in spite of their own natural shock and surprise. We were very fortunate; many to the east, in Gorkha, and in the districts to the north of the Kathmandu Valley did suffer serious damage. The way that local communities and the youth of Nepal came together, leading aid delivery and support has been heart-warming.

 

It is all too easy to dwell on the events and to become somewhat introspective. It is essential now that we all move ahead, respecting the events and learning from them. Nepal has come together unlike any time in recent years and the future is looking brighter. International media inevitably focused on the immediate drama of the earthquake and its initial impacts, but that particular spotlight of over-simplistic focus has now moved on and the country is back on her feet. Rebuilding is happening apace in spite of many constraints. Travel warnings have now been downgraded. International engineering specialists have surveyed key trek trails and pronounced them safe. Nepal needs tourism to boost the economy and it is essential for everyone to be fully aware that most of the trekking areas and other popular tourist destinations were unaffected by the recent events. Emphatically, the country is safely open for tourism.
 
The travel industry has worked hard to ensure that Nepal retains its place among the key destinations for visitors with publicity and hard work on marketing campaigns. The lodge has been involved with this through the work of Lisa Choegyal in the tourism board’s recovery programs and Marcus Cotton with Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).
 
The lodge is fully open for business from early September 2015 after our routine monsoon break. We look forward to welcoming guests from around the world.
 

 

travel to nepalLocal Impact - staff and community

Locally, some homes suffered damage, specially in Thuloswara - on our Gurung Village Walk. Three of our staff: cooks Nar Bahadur, Laxman and steward Ganesh Tamang, lost all or most of their properties. Mercifully no staff or their families were injured. The generosity of guests, fellow staff and the travel industry has been magnificent with over Rs. 2.5 million being raised for them by guests and the company. This is being applied to staff needs, (8 other staff suffered some damage to their homes) and to the immediate community through local organisations. An enormous thank you to all who have helped in any way. This is in addition to enormous support for the major relief agencies reported by our guests.

 


 

travel to nepalNo Impact on the Lodge

The emergency planning and discussions paid off and are updated by this, “for real” testing of our systems. When I congratulated the staff, noting that there were “no headless chickens,” a certain amount of explanation was required! The buildings were well designed, well built and suffered only cosmetic damage, apart from a couple of rooms that had more significant cracks. Those rooms have been surveyed by a structural engineer and repaired in accordance with his instructions to make them even stronger than before – in line with the concept of ‘build back better.’ We are now waiting the engineer’s final report that all is sound. All other buildings on site have been inspected and are safe. Ishwar Basnet, Manager Administration, Dol Raj, Jhalak, Gyan and all the staff all deserve special thanks for their enormous efforts to supervise the repairs, keep the site tidy and have all ready for guests on time, looking better than ever.

 

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