Isha Khanal: “I was never scared that something bad might happen to me”

Street Festival, Dhulikhel

I woke up to the earthquake’s tremors. I could hear my mother shouting my name and telling me to come downstairs. After the quake, my cousins came for a visit, but they were too scared to come inside the house, and so slept outside instead. I, however, continued to sleep in my own room because I believed that if a 7.8M earthquake didn’t harm the house, what damage could the smaller aftershocks do?

A few days after the quake, I got calls from my friends asking if I wanted to volunteer. I agreed immediately. My parents did not want me to go, but I assured them I would be safe, and that I would be on open ground. Many youths participated in volunteering, while others just complained on social networking sites. I realized how some people could be selfish even in the face of others’ pain, and how other people stood out, doing whatever they could to help the victims.

During the next huge earthquake a month later, I was at the movies with some friends, one of whom was really scared. However, we kept calm and stayed on nearby open ground for a while before we all went back home. That’s when I realized that I was strong. I was never scared that something bad might happen to me, although I was a bit worried that something could happen to my family. I trusted my home, and everyone I knew was safe, and that was a relief.

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