Nepal Earthquake 2015 – Final Relief Fund Update

We apologize for the delay in this Relief Fund update – life certainly has a way of getting between us and our ‘To-Do’ lists, doesn’t it?

Despite our tardiness, we are very happy to report that, thanks to your amazing generosity, Preeti and Unika’s school tuition and fees will now be covered for the next two years!


Here they are, all ready for school! (Photo by Sunil Tamang)


Your support will help their family redirect funds to rebuild their earthquake-damaged home, and the quality education Preeti and Unika will receive as a result of your donation dollars is certainly a gift that will keep on giving. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts and the girls do too…


(Photos by Sunil Tamang)


Of course, two years’ tuition is a good start, but it will not carry them through their entire education. If you are interested in long-term sponsorship, please contact Brenna ( and she will put you in touch with people who can tell you more about what long-term educational sponsorship entails. Drew’s mother, Barbara, sponsored the education of our dear friend Sunil (Preeti and Unika’s cousin, you’ve read about him on the blog before) from the time he was 10 years old all the way through to the earning of his recent Bachelor’s degree, and found it a very rewarding experience, indeed! Here are Barbara and Sunil this past Fall, trekking in the Upper Mustang region of Nepal together…


If long-term sponsorship is not feasible, but you are still looking for ways to help Nepal, we highly encourage you to do so. Although you don’t hear much about Nepal in the international news these days, reconstruction is moving slowly and there is still much work to be done. There are many organizations on the ground doing good work that could use your help – check out our list of recommended organizations to find links to their websites. And Sunil is spearheading an ambitious project to rebuild 22 destroyed houses in his home village of Syaphru Bensi this Spring that also needs support. Check out the #RebuildOldSyaphru project website here to learn more.

And for the very last time, here are the numbers from our relief fund-
Funds raised since our last update (October 5, 2015): $1,082.39
Total funds raised: $14,182.75
Funds spent since our last update (October 5, 2015): $4,413.14
Total funds spent: $14,182.75
Funds remaining: $0

Thank you, again, for your incredible generosity towards the people of Nepal. It has been a very moving experience to see our family and friends come together to help those in need, and we are forever grateful for all that you’ve done. THANK YOU!





Aayo (Part I)


The Nepali word aayo translates to ‘it comes,’ ‘it’s coming,’ or ‘it came.’ It’s used constantly in every-day speech in many different contexts. One of my favorite usages is the happy shout of “batti aayo!” when the electricity comes back on after a scheduled outage.

But on April 25th, 2015, the 7.8 magnitude ‘Great Quake’ struck Nepal and aayo took on a whole new meaning.

In the days and weeks that followed the quake, a chorus of “aayo!” would erupt from the crowds with each new aftershock. I came to associate the word with the trembling of the earth so closely that the moment I heard it -whether it was being used in the context of an aftershock or not- I would instinctively prepare for the worst.

Aayo. It’s coming.

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Welcome to Hotel Japan

Aside from the Earthquake Relief Fund Updates, it has been about six months since I last posted to the Nepal section of my blog. Unfortunately, between the aftermath of the earthquake(s) and my intense art studio practice at KCAC during the past two months, I’ve had little time (or emotional energy) to devote to writing about what life has been like for us here in Nepal since the quake. But I’m back now and will begin the process of catching the blog up to speed with this first post. I’ll start with telling you all about our new apartment – or at least, it was new just before the first earthquake struck, as we had moved in about one week before that horrible day. Seeing as those few weeks just before the earthquake is where the blog left off, we’ll start from there for now…

After three and a half months of living in the sometimes-too-cozy expat haven of Jhamsikhel, we finally made the move to a new neighborhood about a 30 minute walk from our old digs, to Kumaripati. The neighborhood isn’t really known for much – when I tell people that I live in Kumaripati, I often have to explain that “it’s the small neighborhood between Jawalakhel and Lagankhel” (two more commonly-known neighborhoods).

But Kumaripati is a nice little spot, conveniently located near the beautiful and historic Old Patan neighborhood, a major hospital, and a bus park where you can find transport to just about anywhere in Kathmandu. There’s a large road that runs through Kumaripati, (called Kumaripati Road – imagine that) which is bustling with pedestrians and traffic, and is lined almost entirely with small furniture show rooms and clothing stores that sell hip and trendy ‘Western-style’ fashions…


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Nepal Earthquake 2015 – Relief Fund Update #5

It’s hard to believe it has been almost three months since the first earthquake on April 25, 2015. Thanks to your many generous donations, we have now raised over $13,000 for earthquake aid and recovery efforts. Drew and I took a step back this week to really think abut that number – $13,000! How incredible! We are so very grateful to have friends and family in our lives who have such kindness and caring in their hearts.

The week before last, we sent 220 water filters to the large village of Syafru Bensi in the Rasuwa District with our dear friend, Dorche…

Dorche (Sunil's father) is a certified trekking guide - he guided our short trek in Annapurna in 2012. (Here we are watching the sun rise over the Himalayas from Poon Hill). Dorche was guiding a trek in the Langtang region when the earthquake struck - luckily he (and his daughter Sapana who was with him) are okay!

Dorche is our friend, Sunil Tamang’s father. He guided our trek to the Annapurna region in 2012.

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Nepal Earthquake 2015 – Relief Fund Update #3

We apologize for the limited communication in these past few weeks. It has been an interesting time for us with some unexpected twists and turns, but we are happy to report that we’re back on track and have some exciting news to share with you!

Many of you know that we left Nepal for 12 days at the end of May because of delays in my visa application process. For those of you who didn’t know, allow me to explain further: My tourist visa was set to expire in early June, but my student visa application was significantly delayed because of the earthquake. By leaving the country for two weeks, we effectively ‘stopped the clock’ on my tourist visa and bought some time for the student visa paperwork to be processed through Nepal’s (painfully slow) bureaucratic system. We regretted having to leave the country at such a time, but if I had stayed and the student visa did not get processed before my tourist visa expired, I would have been forced to leave Nepal for 7 months (until the new calendar year in 2016). Drew and I are both committed to relief efforts here in Nepal, and were determined to avoid a situation in which I would have to be out of the country for so long. And so, we headed to Malaysia, using the opportunity to get some much needed rest and relaxation. We returned to Kathmandu on June 3rd, refreshed and ready to tackle the challenges ahead. (And, I’m happy to report that I now have my student visa in hand!)

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