MY MEMORIES OF THE EARTHQUAKE by a 17 year old girl at OCCED

April 25th 2015

Everyone in their lifetime will have a memorable experience. It might be happy memories or it might be sad or even hurtful. Some memories bring a smile to our face whereas others might bring the tears rolling from our eyes.

It was a Saturday morning in April. Saturday is special for everyone because we neither have to go to school nor the office. We had eaten our lunch at around 10:00 in the morning, and then did some washing. We then went up to the third floor of our rented house to watch television. It may have been 10.45 when the power suddenly went off. We were not at all concerned as this happens several times in Kathmandu.

Staircase badly cracked

I remember it as clearly as though it was yesterday. Being the eldest, I was the first one to realize what was really happening and screamed loudly ‘’it’s an earthquake.’’ By then all of us had jumped up and were terrified. The walls of the room were all cracked, dust flying around and windows cracking. The stone staircase was cracked and shaking as we struggled to get down to the ground floor and away from the building. During those moments all we could do was panic and pray to God for help.

Once we were outside, we joined our younger brothers and sisters who were out with Dot ma’am, who is one of our Godmothers besides Anne and Monica ma’am. Shortly after Anjali ma’am who is our house supervisor and her husband Jagat Sir came running to see if we were ok. After an hour Chirungeebi Sir, the President of OCCED came to see us too. All the day the ground continued to shake making us dizzy and so frightened. We turned on the radio and on the news all we could hear was the number of deaths and injuries. I would say the worst thing we heard was that so many cultural heritages of Nepal were destroyed.

Living under tent

Dot ma’am was of great help during that time. She stayed every night with us, ate the same food as we did and tried to distract our minds away from the earthquake. Mostly the days were sunny and very hot whereas the nights were unusually raining heavily with cold wind.

Even during that time we got to eat warm food whereas most of the people in our country were fighting with hunger and thirst. Luckily we were able to rescue our gas cylinder and food, so we had enough to eat. Because the house was too dangerous to live in we slept on the hard ground under a plastic sheet for almost 2 months. The schools were closed for a month so Anjali ma’am made us study in the evening.

For a few years earlier, the OCCED Board, our three Godmothers and other supporters had been saving money to buy a new home of our own and two months after the earthquake we were able to move into a beautiful new home which we call our “ Dream Home.’’ This would not have been possible without the continued support of our Godmothers, all the volunteers and well-wishers of OCCED NEPAL and most importantly our OCCED family and members.

I would definitely say that experiencing this earthquake was the worst experience in my entire life.

Grade: XI (17 years old)