Nepal will always have a place in my heart.
I count the two and a half months that I spent there as among some of my happiest memories – a relaxed pace of life, good boating and many new friends made.
Although they themselves may have had very little, the Nepalese offered me a great deal of kindness. The family that drove me from Kathmandu to Fishling, having only just met me. The shop keeper who bailed me out when I was left literally penniless when my credit card stopped working. Boats borrowed. Boats fixed. Places to sleep, food to eat and friendly guides who watched over me on the river.
And so it is with great sadness that I read the reports of the earthquake last weekend, that has brought so much destruction to the region. Seeing streets that I walked down carefree, now flattened. Knowing that friends that I paddled with are out there, worried for their families in the villages.
The river community is rallying round to give back to a country that has provided so many of us with fond memories of happier times. And this is what I love so much about our sport – that unknowingly, it brings us closer to people and places we would have never known, united by the river.
So what can you do?
You can find a list of organisations who will be delivering aid to Nepal here, all of whom will be grateful for your donations.
I would also like to pass on messages from friends who are on the ground, delivering aid at a grassroots level.
First from British paddler Darren Clarkson-King of Pureland Expeditions:
We Darren Clarkson-King and Andrea Clarkson-King have amazing friends in Rishikesh and Ladakh who are loading jeeps with urgently needed food and shelter to bring to remote areas. We’re also loading a vehicle and are hooking up with them to reach stranded communities. Friends already have contacted us from remote areas here in Nepal whose villages have been destroyed, so we have specific destinations in mind where the main aid organisations have yet to reach. Even in Kathmandu shops are shut and food scarce. We are buying the food and shelters ourselves in Pokhara, but we know our friends and family from around the world will want to help too, and you can by donating via paypal – firstname.lastname@example.org, marking your payment as ‘quake’
I will be working as a team with Ang Tshering Lama (a mountain hero). Our main target is to get out to remote villages of Gorkha and surroundings where help and support have not reached yet (We may change our destination if we find areas which need more support).
My Icelandic family and friends have also started to collect fund and donate gears which I will be traveling with to Nepal. I will make sure it goes to victims in most need.
So if you are in Iceland and want to help, here is the bank account created for this cause.
Name Brynjulfur Jonatansson
Address: Strikid 12, 210 Gardabaer, Iceland
Bank account: 0130-05-060479
IBAN IS95 0130 0506 0479 0101 7736 79
Swift (BIC) NBIIISRE
If you are abroad and want to be part of this mission (you will know where exactly your donation went to and how it was used), feel free to donate via pay pal (this is Nepal Kayak Club account which is also a non profit organisation we run which mainly focuses in education and training for those who can’t afford). PAYPAL@NEPALKAYAKCLUB.ORG
Nepal will rise again