April 26, 2015. I was in the kitchen when the 6.8 earthquake hit around 11:30AM. Pema, Shyam’s wife, shouted something in Nepali and everyone got moving. The street quickly filled up with scared looking people. This one lasted about 30-40 seconds.
Meanwhile there were still a few people and tourists walking around like the world wasn't crumbling. We ended up back at Himalayan Encounters where they had now set up tents for people to sleep outside, young mothers holding babies, small children sleeping in the shade and the men huddled around the radio tuned to the news. The silent countdown unraveled in my head. 20 minutes past due, I started to relax and the fatigue hit me hard.
That night word was going around that you shouldn't sleep inside. As I drove home every open space was filled with people sheltering under ragged tarps and sheets of plastic. People huddled together for comfort and children finding this all very exciting. The worried expressions of the adults were sobering enough for me.
Hamilton Pevec is a Subud member from Canada currently residing in Nepal with his Nepalese wife Devika. He is a documentary film maker and his film, Hanuman Airlines toured the world with Banff Mountain Film festival in 2012.