A Different View in Langtang

November 2, 2017 • Nepal
Nepal's Langtang Valley was hard-hit by the April 2015 earthquake.
Kaye Meriya* is a Samaritan’s Purse intern in Nepal.

After nine hours, two Jeep rides, and a 22-mile hike, we reached an elevation of 3,475 meters. I was exposed to the elements of sun and wind and surrounded by towering mountains. I was standing yet again at the edge of Langtang.

In April 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake decimated Langtang Valley in Nepal. Hundreds of people died and more than 100 bodies were never recovered.

A year and a half ago, I came to this point and there was nothing—just a field of clothes, sheet metal, yak skulls, broken plates, decomposed sneakers, and a few temporary shelters.

Now, I sat and took it all in. Things looked different—there was water and things were green. I looked out and saw life. People had returned to the valley, guesthouses and homes were rebuilt, kids were running and playing, and newly purchased bakus (women’s dresses) were washed and hanging on the line to dry.

The community was lively, serving Tibetan tea (tea with salt and yak butter) to their guests and sitting and talking with one another. I saw ladies with babies secured to their back working in fields harvesting potatoes and spinach. Men were going to and fro, carrying supplies on their backs for their family, friends, and guests. Tourists yielded to mules—provided by Samaritan’s Purse—as they transported food and supplies to villages throughout the valley.

It is a beautiful thing when a community comes together after a disaster. In the midst of grieving and unimaginable loss, people in Langtang have chosen to respond and to band together. Wherever you are, may you be encouraged and reminded that despite your circumstances, you can look to those around you and walk through difficult times together.

This is what the people of Langtang have done—they have chosen to look beyond the destruction and rebuild a place for their children and their children’s children. They have never ceased to amaze me, not only with their lighthearted spirit, but also with their ability to endure and persevere. They are committed to helping the most vulnerable in their community.

Samaritan’s Purse has helped a number of vulnerable families in Langtang and throughout Nepal by rebuilding their homes. In the year to come, we will build even more homes.

We are thankful for your support and prayers for the people in Langtang as they continue to walk through loss and trauma. I am confident Langtang is on the brink of singing and dancing once again.

*Name changed for security.