NEW YEAR GIFT OF LOVE AND WARMTH

On January 2nd, 15 porters and four volunteers from Himalaya Peace Education Foundation traveled to Tiru and Lumba Danda, Rasuwa District, in Langtang. It took us fourteen hours to cross the big land, from Dunche, the headquarters of Rasuwa district, to the mountain village of Tiru.

The hillside in and around Tiru1 is in ruin from the earthquakes last spring and the ensuing dry landslides. According to the local people, the dry landslides continue, even now. One recent dry landslide is frightfully close, to the right and just below the village.

As all the homes in Tiru were destroyed last spring, most of the people have taken shelter, in Betrabati, Kalikashtan, and around Kathmandu. That is, except thirty-one households and some of their children. (The rest of the children from these households were also sent to safe shelter with their relatives and neighbors.)

As it is now, Tiru village is certainly far from ideal to live in. Yet, the villagers don't like to move from their own land. They prefer to stay home to protect their Tamang culture and identity.

When our group arrived at midnight, we didn’t have enough light so we used the light from our campfire to see. Along with the relief materials, we brought our tents to sleep in but, mostly, we slept with the families under their tarpaulins.

Winter in Tiru is relatively cold, with temperatures hovering around -5 degree Celsius while we are there. As the village is in a mountainous region, the villagers’ homes are not centrally located. Rather, they are scattered around the hillsides. The trails connecting one homestead to another are rocky and filled with debris from natural disasters. It is rough going up the steep inclines. We supplied the relief materials door to door. We visited every household to give each warm sleeping bags and offer friendship.

At last, Big Thanks to SOS Nepal, our porters; volunteer-Smriti; Bodi; HPEF Member, Nwaga Tamang; and Dabindra Tamang, HPEF Coordintator.