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The Spirit of Nepal

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Kathmandu, April 22, 2016:  Portraits to commemorate the first anniversary of the Nepal Earthquake of 25 April 2015 with stories of hope, loss, and inner strength of survivors from Gorkha

Mana Maya Didi with her grandson Biswas. Ghumthang, Sindhupalchok
Mana Maya Didi with her grandson Biswas.
Ghumthang, Sindhupalchok

“His mother could not run away from the earthquake. His little sister was with her too. He is with me now.”

Ama,Laprak, Gorkha
Ama,Laprak, Gorkha

“My son got sick and died. He will never return. My tears haven’t stopped. The earthquake took our house. You came, you are also my son. Come, take these seeds home. They make good pickles.”

Jit Bahadur Gurung Laprak, Gorkha
Jit Bahadur Gurung Laprak, Gorkha

“The earthquake taught me one thing. It taught me how unity can save lives and how no one is above or below anyone else. Nothing is certain, just this day, just this moment. All this hustle and bustle is a waste. The way the earth can shake, it taught me how together, we have a meaning and alone, we are meaningless. That day I remember I hugged my mother and thought, ‘This is it. It’s over’. Now, can I go? I have to go look for my mother.”

Mallal Gurung Laprak, Gorkha
Mallal Gurung Laprak, Gorkha

“Let’s just say, I am happy that I am breathing.”

Santa Maya Gurung Laprak, Gorkha
Santa Maya Gurung Laprak, Gorkha

“Now I am ready for your picture. When you came to my house this morning I had just woken up. And I didn’t want my husband in Malaysia to see me like that on Facebook. I don’t want him to think ‘Oh, my wife is suffering after the earthquake.’ I need to look proper.”

Sashi Kumar Dhungana Bakreldi, Kavre
Sashi Kumar Dhungana
Bakreldi, Kavre

“My father built this house more than half a century ago. It was a good house. Even the bricks were handmade, using the clay of this land. The wood was cut with axe and saw. Too much sweat and blood has been invested in turning this house into a a home. I was born here and my brothers and sisters too. I walked my first steps in this house. We all would go to school from here. I got married here and my children were born here. I remember as a child, we used to wait by the window, turn on the radio and wait for it to play at 5 PM that is when our parents returned from the fields. The memories have become more vivid after the earthquake. We have lost our home, and I cannot even find that radio.”