Jacobian Chronicles

Our neighbor Nepal

People try to free a man from the rubble of a destroyed building- Photo by Narendra Shrestha, Time Magazine

Being on Jacob’s campus brings all world news a little closer to home. At the swimming pool the other day, I ask my friend again- after the earthquake in Nepal, is your entire family alright? Is your home intact?  Are the Nepali students at Jacobs all fine? He says,

I never believed in nationalism much, but after the earthquake I just wished I could be there. It means something to me- my nation.

As for the current situation, most of the Nepali capital Kathmandu is intact, except for the older parts of the city.  The same cannot be said for the villages.  Still, in light of the aftershocks, families have moved from the mountains to the plains: far from unstable buildings, farther from the epicenter of the earthquake.

This news is doubly powerful coming directly from our Nepali friends and classmates on the Jacobs campus.  Despite the heightened pressure to meet thesis deadlines for an imminent graduation, my friend reports that work stopped for the Nepali community, for about three tense days following the initial earthquake. He recounted:

“I finally called my cousin after the earthquake.  He is fine, and spending the night outdoors.  It is loud on the phone and I ask ‘What is all the noise?’

He said ‘That’s our aunts, they are singing and having a drink!’

‘What?’ I say, ‘We are here worried and you are over there celebrating?!’

My cousin replied, ‘We are alive, and this is the time to celebrate it.”

Although this seemed bizarre to the fretting students on campus, it makes sense for a displaced family in recovery.  To overcome that painful distance from the crisis, the Nepali community has gotten into swift action through the Jacobs Nepal Earthquake Victim Relief Campaign. They brought to aid efforts right to our home doorstep.

Henna donations, by the Jacobs Nepal Earthquake Relief Campaign
Henna donations, by the Jacobs Nepal Earthquake Relief Campaign

So now, with henna on my own hands, I have a constant reminder that human life is a collective effort; I am impressed all over again by the magic of globalization to bring us together.  And I am especially grateful to all the students on campus who made it possible to easily add to relief efforts.

Also want to help? A friend who has grown up in Nepal has done the research and recommends the following to ways to to donate reliably and directly to relief.  Check them out for yourself, and join the world.

International Nepal Fellowship: http://www.inf.org/news/nepal-earthquake-60hrs

NepalMed: http://www.nepalmed.de/ENG/donations.html

Thank you for Your contributions!

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