Nepal Earthquake - Trekking News

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    27-Sep-2015

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Writing this from Kathmandu, epicenter of massive 7.8 quake one week ago. Our building violently shook with tremors from an aftershock moments ago. Locals ran instinctively into the streets. Tourists are virtually non-existent. Local residents flee to outside regions for fear of another devastating quake, possibly bigger than before. The humanitarian efforts of GiveBackHope.org continue as we make contact with those in need. Most grievous is the lack of aid to remote villages, often blockaded in by police and military to "prevent looting". Locals reported several police stations were stampeded in protest of the lockdown, so roads opened again yesterday without fanfare.

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<ul><li><p>Give Back Hope India and NepalThe March-April Newsletter, 2015Articles by Ethan Barrett</p><p>Photographs by Ethan Barrett, Stan Barrett, &amp; Bill Boehm</p><p>Give Back Hope is a charity seeking to do some good </p><p>in the world. This newsletter features 3 of the </p><p>GBH crew members in India and Nepal.</p></li><li><p>S E Q U O I A C L U B</p><p> 3</p><p>This Just Got Real</p><p>March 27</p><p>Its surreal. I go from playing house (playing traffickers in movies) to actually being there where the human trafficking events are going down.</p><p>" I just went into Nepal an hour ago. It took a few scribbles of a pen and $100 to the cops. I could have just avoided them, but I wanted to be polite." Traffickers can get across the border by the dry stream. People walk in and out. We </p><p>were only noticed because I was a Westerner and had money. Shady characters watched the crowds as they conversed openly and on friendly terms with the guards." Mrinals older brother, Kishore, was </p><p>Hill GirlsFrom our expedition into the Himalayas, we discovered the kinds of girls that traffickers are looking for: extremely naive and simple, poverty included.</p><p> Quisque Massa</p></li><li><p>Our expedition saddened and maddened us, as we saw the girls at risk, especially with the emerging interest of China and Korea in Nepali women and children for sex work. </p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p> 5</p><p>my guide because Mrinal had to look after Amma whos violently sick (I dont have enough battery life in this power cut to go into that right now)." Kishore smiles brightly, says Jamasy (Praise Jesus) loudly to a woman and man who sit on a bench watching the crowds, they respond nicely. " Kishore told me they work for an NGO that tries to stop traffickers from smuggling women and children from Nepal into Indian brothels. They know how to see who is a trafficker, and who is the victim.</p><p>" Once the woman and man see that, they contact their people, who intercept them and get the women and/or children out of there to safety." I was amazed: hundreds of women and children have been rescued this way. Just 2 people sitting on a bench! Why arent other people doing this kind of thing? 2 people against a daily growing profession in crime with women and childrens bodies? Cmon, this is inspiring!" Kishore has Christian friends who run a hotel. I am in it right now. Havent had a meal yet, and its </p><p>been a long journey. " Kishore is a terrific gentlemen, he and Mrinal (and now this hotel and their staff) are true gems." I will be staying in Nepal for 3 1/2 months. Are you excited, a Newsletter in a whole new country? I sure am." I have a friend I met years ago in Nepal who will receive me at the airport at 1pm tomorrow. Flight cancelled today due to cloudy weather." Kishore is gone, Im here alone with the Christians at this wonderful hotel, just opened last moina (month).</p><p>continued</p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p>6</p><p>continued</p><p>My ali (little) Nepali is opening so many doors. The locals are looking at me as more than just a taker, but a participant in their lives, joys and struggles." Ill...admit something. I saw a Westerner get his Nepali visa alongside me, and my mind went to the movie I made, The Human Traffickers Part One: Work and internally, I was boiling, because I didnt know if he was one of the clients." Man! To create films based in Nepal about trafficking...to actually be in Nepal and see the traffickers playground is, like I said...surreal." Okay, Ive got 12% battery life, thats enough time to tell you about Amma: I had 1 </p><p>1/2 hours of sleep last night. Partly because I was packing, partly because I didnt want Amma to kill herself by falling down." She fell over 3 times, and each time with a loud CRACK! that shook and disturbed me. Id wake Mrinal up, and wed bear hug her back into her bed as shes delirious and babbling and sometimes vomiting--yes, I got some vomit on me." Crazy...to see someone you love so much and is as capable as an action hero...suddenly take the turn for the worst." And it was so strange to hold this old woman in my arms, and with all my strength and focus try not to drop her. She was so small in my arms...</p><p>" That was India, now Im in Nepal. When will these new experiences end? Well, as long as Im here, never." It feels good to be on the side of good, Ill add. Im an anti-human trafficker, yeah! But that means I know a whole lot about the business. I think it was Sun Szu who said you must know your enemy before you can defeat him." Ive acted in the movies how they think, Ive written how they think...but to see real traffickers, and wonder what theyre thinking is completely different." Sometimes...its like my body wants to freeze up. Ever since Pune, where I entered those hellish red light districts and had my heart broken by the interviews I took, and </p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p> 7</p><p>the girl I paid for but was never released...it feels a lot like a post traumatic stress thing." That means Im human. Who cant look into hell and feel overwhelming feelings? A demon, perhaps. satan. And those are the kind of characters who lurk around here. Theyre in it for the money." If I was ignorant, it would be easier to ignore it. Yet I know. And wouldnt trade in my seeing the Matrix for what it truly is for anything. I gotta be here for these women and children, and for the Nepali people who I cherish so deeply.</p><p>" Theyre poor, theyre simple, and, well, I just love em!</p><p>The Sex Workers</p><p>March 30</p><p>So...Nepal. In it, now. And for the first time, saw Nepali girls on streets, open for sex work. I cannot just call them prostitutes, not when the statistics say that they are likely trafficked." Think about it. Kathmandu, where I saw these sex workers...Kathmandus a fancy place, for the most part. Wealthier than Darjeeling, and most places in India </p><p>(and all places in Nepal). So, why would a girl willingly submit herself to working as a prostitute? Do you know any girl who would do that? Chances are, shed prefer to sell vegetables! Right? What kind of life is servicing fat tourists and getting beat (and broke) by your pimp? Just doesnt add up..."" Meaning the girls are trafficked, otherwise, doesnt it? Yeah, oh, Im sure, yeah..." What else? Ah, my father is with me! And we are with one of my friends I met 3 </p><p>continued</p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p>8</p><p>continued</p><p>years ago, and one of his friends, who is from that village in that award winning documentary Honey Hunters of Nepal. He is from the Sherpa tribe, and told me that his mother loaded him up with honey before making the long, long journey to the countrys capital, Kathmandu, and he doesnt care for honey, so he ended up giving it away to all of his [new] friends." Both of these young men my father and I are staying with share a same story: once they received Jesus as their Lord and Savior, both are exiled from their Hindu and Buddhist families. So, they are surviving together, and we are here to help them along the way. </p><p>They are currently working on an orphanage. Give Back Hope has supported them immensely, praise the Lord." One young man is Sherpa, yes, and the other is from the Thapa tribe. The Thapa boy told me something incredibly inspiring: God didnt tell us to first make a lot of money before doing things like having an orphanage: He said Go and then He will meet us in our faith. Wow, so I dont have to be rich to do a good deed? Thats a game changer...</p><p>Child Marriages and Cappuccinos</p><p>March 31</p><p>Leaving on a 40 day trek tomorrow, did I already say that? Well, </p><p>we will: my father, and our longtime friend Bill. " Of course, I want to continue writing this Newsletter at 18,000 ft! But, unfortunately, we just dont have the internet up there, nor the safety procedures I would like to secure my laptop. Not to mention we need electricity for that! So, you can see...that I will be out of touch for a while. Thats why I plan to make this a combined March-April Newsletter...Or, just load up this Newsletter solely with photos we took, add captions?" Our trekking company representative (very touristy?) told us, You may not believe this, but my grandfather was married at 8 years old. My grandmother was 6 years old." My father and I </p></li><li><p>Kathmandu, and Bill takes a cup of tea (before the earthquake).</p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p>10</p><p>looked at each other askance,what? My father asked, a little embarrassed. Um...did they...how did...ah, they slept with each other at that age?" The representative laughed, saying, Well, </p><p>they just fought and played with each other!" Thats crazy, right? I mean, I get an age difference, but when theyre both that young! Only 20 years ago did the Nepali government ban child marriages.</p><p>" I find it funny, also, that the grandfather and grandmother are still, rather peacefully, married. Makes one wonder about different cultures, and how the people get along!" As it is, Nepal, I believe (Google it to double-check if you </p><p>HonestAnd simple? Sure, thats what makes the Nepalis so interesting!</p><p>continued</p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p> 11</p><p>continued</p><p>want) has the lowest marriage age in the world." Uh...so anyway, were getting our trekking gear together, Jesus love, may the Lord Jesus protect you! (And, pray for us, too! ( : </p><p>Later...</p><p>I am...at Cafe Java, the most touristy place on the planet, perhaps. Tourists flood the restaurant like ants on a carcass. I got nothing wrong with them! Its just strange." Compared to Kathmandu, going to Darjeeling is like joining Christopher Columbus first crew to America. If youre a pioneer like me, you like that!" Dad and I are talking right now, </p><p>eating apple pie and drinking cappuccinos. What?! Apple pie and cappuccinos?! Yeah, that touristy... " But for the record, this restaurant/cafe in Kathmandu is actually better than any place Ive eaten in America. If you want that, man, you can really get it! Better quality than Starbucks and Tullys by a long shot! Why? Fresh roasted coffee beans in the morning...straight from the Himalayas. Wow, if this place was in Darjeeling, would I go to it? (You bet)</p><p>Trekking End and Earthquakes</p><p>May 3</p><p>We had another minor earthquake a few minutes ago, and everyone hurried </p><p>outside. Bill (our American friend who trekked with us), my father and I are in Kathmandu right now, at the highly reported ground zero from the earthquake that killed over 7,000 Nepalis. 1,000 Europeans are still missing. " Gee, earthquakes make one a little wobbly, dont they?" When the earthquake hit us, we were trekking, and huge boulders flew down the mountain. Im talking The Lord of the Rings catapult boulders that are the size of small cars! " Bill barely kept alive. His main goal has been to zip forward and leave my father and I to philosophize and pick berries, or take footage with our cameras." The day of the </p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p>12</p><p>earthquake, though, Bill decided to stay with us. It was the first and last day he was with us. Dad and I paused, Bill itched to go ahead, but some supernatural heavenly force restrained him. Good thing, because minutes later was the famous earthquake, and those giant boulders would have pulverized him." After the first volley of boulders of biblical proportions, Bill decided to go on up ahead, after all." My father and I stayed behind to help stitch up some locals who got hurt. Then a second volley </p><p>happened, right before our eyes! We were buried in medical gear, so couldnt move out of the way if the rocks were going to hit us." Bill, my father and I encountered so many adventures, we literally rival those of our friends in The Lord of the Rings. Falling boulders? Check. Landslides? Check. Blizzards, freezing rains, monsoon rains, slush, deep snow, slippery ice, perilous drop offs, ankle deep mud so we feel like sloshing pigs...Oh yeah, weve done just about all you could ask for. Did I mention we went up over 17,000 </p><p>feet? Kanchenjunga base camp and Lumba Sumba pass were especially interesting." So much we went through, it will be easier right now for me to post up pictures and try to let them explain away a few things I cannot. It would take a book to explain away our adventures." Tomorrow, Bill leaves to his wife in Singapore, and my father and I go to Pokhara to help victims of the earthquake. Many are still trapped in the rubble of their own homes. " Yesterday, Bill bawled his eyes out </p><p>continued</p></li><li><p>G I V E B A C K H O P E</p><p> 13</p><p>after he visited the hospital. My dad decided not to film it.</p><p>God bless,</p><p>Ethan Barrett</p><p>Give Back HopeIndia &amp; Nepal</p><p>Tent CityThousands of Nepalis are displaced after their homes were destroyed in the earthquake that made world news. Over 7,000 dead.</p><p> Quisque Massa</p><p>continued</p></li><li><p>Earthquake boulders </p><p>that came our way.</p></li><li><p>Lumba Sumba Pass</p></li><li><p>One-upping Walter Mitty.</p></li><li><p>From the Shire</p><p>to the Wild West.</p></li><li><p>Bill...</p><p>after 30 days in the Himalayan mountains.</p></li><li><p>Ethan...</p><p>after 30 days in the Himalayan mountains.</p></li><li><p>Stan...</p><p>after 30 days in the Himalayan mountains.</p></li><li><p>Trying to recover from the earthquake in Kathmandu.</p></li><li><p>Give Back Hope is now supporting 7 orphan boys in Kathmandu. Each boy has a horrifying past, but now restoration and healing is in progress.</p><p>GBH will soon be helping orphan girls who were left alone after their parents were killed in the recent earthquake. Any help from you will be aiding these children. 100% of your support goes to the cause through Give Back Hope.</p><p>GiveBackHope.org</p></li></ul>