Nepal: Who would we be if we did not try?

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Basic health care clinic in Tatopani before second earthquake struck on May 12 (Photo by Kaustaubh Kukde)

May 15, 2015: Night falls in Kathmandu. We sleep in the streets, in the tents, in the parks. The last strong tremor still present in the body. Local or foreigner, it doesn’t matter. In the darkness, we are equally together and alone. All the senses are amplified, each sound is recorded, every movement in the ground.

The worst thing is the dogs’ howling just before an earthquake. Can you trust the warning or is it just one night-blind pooch that confuses itself into scaring us all?

Two new aftershocks last night confirmed the dogs’ premonition. It is the primary wave before the earthquake that animals feel. We humans are fleeing at the larger secondary wave. Yet only by imagining the unimaginable, we can predict the unpredictable. But when the instinct is up against the mind, usually the instinct wins. We run for our lives. No looking back.

I rejoice to hear the first call of the cuckoo at dawn. It’s a strange feeling to hear the cuckooing here in Kathmandu, as if it were in the wrong place. But as long as he calls, I feel safe. Even the birds seem to have their patterns before danger is approaching. They go silent.

Every day we share analysis on how our relief efforts are working. Every step forward is a motivation for us all. But beyond the graphs of tarpaulins, tents and water delivered, there’s always a deeper story…

Maude Froberg is a Communications and Advocacy Manager for the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) South Asia and a graduate of the International Diploma in Humanitarian Assistance (IDHA 19).

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