As many of you know, I returned from Nepal on February 27th.
The best word to describe my time in Nepal is transformative. The night I arrived in Kathmandu, my whole system was shocked by the sounds and the sights and the tiny streets and the chaos of the roads. I saw a bull tethered on the sidewalk and thought, "what in the hell did I get myself into?" Upon arriving to my guest house I broke down, totally overwhelmed by this crazy country and just wanting to go back to the people and places that were familiar to me. I was convinced the moment I stepped outside next I would disappear without a trace and that would be it for me and I paid to fly here??
On my last day in Nepal, I woke up early and walked to Durbar Square. I had no idea where I was going and got lost time after time amongst the mazes of streets and local markets and ancient stupas and it was raining. That first night, I never would have imagined that just three weeks later I would be content lost in the streets of Kathmandu.
It is pretty impossible to draw out the different experiences that prompted this transformation over the course of three weeks -- it could definitely fill a book. But at the top of the list, above the elephants and the bugs and the squat toilets and digging trenches and never quite feeling clean were the people I met there. They welcomed me into their homes, spoke to me with genuine interest, had very little but gave regardless. And they make the freaking best dal bhat.
When I arrived back home, I, of course, looked to the next thing I would do and decided on running the San Francisco half marathon on July 26th. This morning, April 25th, I woke up to the news of the earthquake in Nepal. One of the first pictures I saw was the devastation in Durbar Square and I thought about my early, rainy morning in Durbar Square just two months ago.
The people of Nepal gave so much to me and I want to give something back to them in this devastating time for their country. So that is why I'm going to run my race to fundraise for the relief effort in Nepal.
I chose to fundraise for Oxfam America, who has emergency response teams on the ground focused on providing clean water, sanitation, and emergency food distribution. You can read more about how Oxfam is responding to the emergency at www.oxfamamerica.org.
Thank you for giving what you can!