My first trip back to Nepal, post 2015 earthquake

In March 2015, I trekked to Everest Base Camp with an incredible group of supporters from World Vision Australia, raising more than $100,000 for women and children in Nepal. One month after I returned home to Australia, on 25 April 2017, a devastating earthquake hit Nepal. Now, two years and four months on, I’ve returned to Nepal and I’m overwhelmed with emotion.

This country I love so much has been through so much in the short few years since I last visited. It’s my fourth visit to Nepal and it certainly won’t be my last. Since my first trip in 2006, I fell in love with this naturally beautiful country. The passion of the people, the rich culture and the epic natural wonders keep me coming back. I don’t know what to expect returning.

Being a World Vision Blog Ambassador and a contracting stuff member to World Vision Australia, I’ve had a lot of information about the destruction of the earthquake and how it’s impacted the communities where World Vision works. Although there has been so much done to move on, and it’s certainly what the people want, I didn’t know what the state of affairs was now. I know the funds that have been raised, the work that has been done for health, water, education and child friendly spaces. But how does that look? What is day to day life going to be like.


World Vision’s work immediately after the 2015 earthquake

My father and I will spend two weeks in Nepal. Our primary purpose for returning is to attend a conference. I’ve been going to these meetings to support my father since 2006 and this will be my 9th event. I’m also thrilled to be able to have time to visit World Vision’s office in Nepal.


Dad and I at a conference in Bangladesh, 2011

Some of the key sites I would like to also visit during my time will be Bouddhanath, Swayambunath, PashupathiNath and Durbar Square Kathmandu. These all were impacted by the earthquake in various ways and are key cultural sites for the people here. They’re also busy tourist attractions and so I’ve seen them on a number of occasions.

I didn’t actually think much about my return to Nepal in the lead up. Busy with work and day to day life, I didn’t realise until I spoke at the Country Women’s Association of Australia in early July about Nepal, how much the trip meant. Perhaps I’ve been actively putting it out of my mind.

Finally, when the day came to head to Nepal, I felt excited. Nepali words were drifting into my mind and I couldn’t wait to enjoy some momos and dal bhat for dinner! On the plane ride into Kathmandu, I caught the first glimpse of those famous mountains and the steep hills at their base. The cloud cover shadowed the peaks but the valleys below were clear. I got choked up as memories rushed back into my mind and the differences I may encounter upon my return were rapidly approaching. It’s amazing how one scene can bring so much emotion. And this is before we’d even hit the ground!

I plan to write daily diaries of my time in Nepal. Reflections at the time of what I’m seeing and doing and the comparison to my past trips in the country I love so much.

You can also follow me on Instagram at @Lovellyem where I’ll be posting A LOT of photos of my experience there. I’ve created the #tag #Lovellynepaltrek for when Dad and I trek from Lukla to Namche Bazaar in the second week of our trek.


Sherpa – Movie Screenings around Australia – Tickets Giveaway

We’ve now given away 3x double passes to Sherpa Film which opens around Australia on 31st March, 2016. I’m so excited to see this movie after trekking to Everest Base Camp in 2015 and seeing how incredible these sherpas really are!

Read the blog for details and leave your comment to enter!! Just two double passes left.

Check out screening dates here:


Sherpa is an awe inspiring, emotional and epic story of one  of the biggest tragedies to ever occur on Mount Everest. See this film to learn more about what life is really like for those who work and live on the World’s largest mountain. 

SherpaA fight on Everest? It seemed incredible. But in 2013 news channels around the world reported an ugly brawl at 21,000ft as European climbers fled a mob of angry Sherpas.

In 1953, New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay had reached the summit in a spirit of co-operation and brave optimism. Now climbers and Sherpas were trading insults – even blows. What had happened to the happy, smiling Sherpas and their dedication in getting foreigners to the top of the mountain they hold so sacred?

Determined to explore what was going on, the filmmakers set out to make a film of the 2014 Everest climbing…

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The devastation in Nepal continues – how can we help?

To my great dismay, there has been yet another devastating earthquake in Nepal. As the relief and recovery efforts were in full swing this just adds another dimension to the tragedy and makes relief efforts even more urgent.


World Vision Australia are on the ground meaning they are able to be more responsive to the needs of those most affected by the earthquakes. Sadly this is not an isolated incident as earthquakes of various magnitudes have been felt fairly consistently in the capital, mountains and surrounds over the past few weeks.

Read more about the relief efforts of World Vision Australia here. 

You can DONATE and support relief efforts in Nepal with World Vision here. They are distributing water, tents, tarpaulins, blankets and food.

Photo by Jan Møller Hansen

Photo by Jan Møller Hansen

The Telegraph in the UK has published an article on The Future of Tourism in Nepal. This too has been a massive fear of mine since the earthquakes occurred. Also since being there in just March of this year, I’m feeling an extremely close connection. It’s hard to imagine how they can recover from this with one of the largest sources of revenue for the country, tourism being slowed to a halt. Also, the city of Kathmandu serves as a hub for mountaineers and travellers coming in. The attracting being the rich cutlery and history of the city. These buildings now lay in ruins. Some areas such as Bhaktapur, which was largely made up of red brick and wood buildings is so damaged, there are still people in there who it may take months to recover. I feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the destruction these people are facing.


Photo by Jan Møller Hansen

Through all this, the mentality and spirit of the people I know in Nepal, they persevere. They are a strong and resilient people. They have a strong sense of community and are helping one another and reaching out the world to join in and help.

I hope once we hear that it is clear, tourists will know the impotence of visiting and how much there is to Nepal – outside of the temples, cultural structures and mountains. There is a beautiful and tenacious people and one of the things I’ve loved so much about visiting over the past nine years, three times and sharing many special moments.

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My friend Bishaka is currently in Nepal, she is a woman of the country and is hurting at the sights she is seeing. She is currently in an orphanage and trying to figure out a way to help these children now and in the future after losing their families to the earthquake. They need food, shelter and in the future, education. How will they be able to recover from this and cater to so many? Together is the answer! And together with our help. It’s heartbreaking to read her updates each day and to hear of her tears, but I know she’s doing amazing work and will help so many. I’m trying to help her as much as I can.

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photo 1

Photos above from Sindhupalchock, where she is currently trying to help some of the more remote villages. 

Thousands have died and many more have been injured and displaced by the magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Nepal. World Vision is initially aiming to reach 100,000 people with emergency relief – you can help by supporting the Nepal Earthquake Appeal today:


Freedom Scarf – Purchase a scarf and set a life free in Nepal

Today I have purchased a beautiful handmade scarf from Nepal in the name of fair and ethical fashion trade in third world countries. You can learn more about this wonderful initiative via Trade for Freedom and the blog of Matt Darvas. 

I saw this activity posted by Matt and his colleague Connie Khoo. I wish to in future be purchasing only from ethical fashion and product sources and this is a great first step. This can help to give these women a better life and see fairer working conditions for people in Nepal. Something so essential in general but more so as this country will rebuild after the terrible #NepalEarthquake disaster.

freedom scarf

This winter, join me in keeping warm in a much cooler (pun intended), caring, and fashionable way! We have partnered with Trade for Freedom to provide you with the Freedom Scarf– A simple, beautiful and meaningful way to stay warm this winter.

Please watch the video below of my time spent in Nepal with the women making these scarves for you.

So how does this work?

1) You purchase a Freedom Scarf through Trade for freedom

Perfect for yourself, a friend, your mum, sister, wife, girlfriend, your neighbour’s second-cousin’s-petdog’s-friend’s-niece… (really, who wouldn’t love this)??

This is an exclusive offer. Click here to order your scarf now

2) ‘Beauty For Ashes Nepal’ artisans hand-make your Freedom Scarf

Beauty For Ashes Nepal (BFAN) is an inspiring social business that empowers women through positive, sustainable employment. Each Freedom Scarf is made of 100% up-cycled sari material, meaning no 2 scarves are the same!

You can learn more about the women making your scarves here

3) Profits go towards BFAN breaking the cycle of poverty that fuels human trafficking.

Your purchase creates a demand that gives these women dignified and liberating jobs and goes towards sustainable education and empowerment programs for them and their children. If we hit the goal of buying over 200 scarves, BFAN can provide 2 more women with salaries and benefits for an entire year!

 You can learn more about how your purchase contributes to preventing the exploitation of women in Nepal here

Orders close on the 15th of May, and because they are handmade and shipped directly from Nepal, you will receive them 4-6 weeks from placing the order. Get in quick- so you can wear one all through winter!

Thank you for being a part of preventing the exploitation of women in Nepal, and for thinking of others this winter.

matt darvas

Matt Darvas, living in Nepal.

If you wish to help those suffering in Nepal and provide aid supplies for those affected by the Nepal Earthquake. Click here to support World Vision Australia.

My tears are now falling for #NepalEarthquake victims

Just watched this video and for the first time since this all happened I broke down in tears.
I just know after seeing it all so recently … How hard the recovery is gonna be. The infrastructure and the lack of local government support for the people… It just makes it all so much harder. There are expected to be upward of 5000, approaching the 10,000 mark of deaths due to this disaster. A number to a country like Australia that is unfathomable. But when you have been there, seen the densely populated city and mass of life, you can understand.
4 month baby rescued after 22 hours - sent by my friend Bishaka in Kathmandu

4 month baby rescued after 22 hours – sent by my friend Bishaka in Kathmandu

I’m happy to know world vision are there now and doing good work. But they need our help! There is hope for those who have survived and for more to be rescued. Donate here to World Vision Australia. 
This sweet simple moment with my friends in March this year. Bath time on a rooftop. So many of these homes now damaged or gone.

This sweet simple moment with my friends in March this year. Bath time on a rooftop. So many of these homes now damaged or gone.

Reading this article now about how critical the response efforts are in the first 24 hours from former Social Media Manager at World Vision Australia, Richenda Vermuelen, now Director of ntegrity!
If you work at a not-for-profit you’re the voice of the people affected. A strong plan of action is measured in hours, not days. Donor attention follows media attention, so your window of opportunity is likely to last only one week (168 hours). Make it count.”
It’s so important we get behind these not for profits.
My friend Bishaka, I met her in Scotland in 2014, is currently in KAthmandu. She has a brother in hospital and her nephew (8 years old pictured below) is also receiving treatment for wounds. She has sent most of her family off to India for safety. She’s sending me photos of scenes and it’s hard to hold back the tears. I am being strong but I just cannot imagine the situation she is in. She’s trained in emergency situations and hopes to get out to more rural areas once they can find a way to travel their as access is the main issue. I will continue to share her stories. This morning she was messaging as 11 more aftershocks came… this is happening through the day and night.
friends nephewn1
Another story of a local, shared by World Vision Australia and Matt Darvas is Kumar Gurung, who watched his village be devastated by the #nepaearthquake:
Kumar’s story.
Kumar’s own family – comprised of his 37-year-old wife, 12-year-old daughter, 3 sons age 16, 10 and 8 years were inside the house eating their lunch at the time of the quake. As the walls started to shake, they quickly ran from the house which collapsed immediately behind them. – See more at:”
I pray for all these people of Nepal. My memories are nothing but fondness, hope and beauty from this nation. It’s so sad to believe that they are currently living in such a state of terror.
Team World Vision in March 2015 before our #Everestbasecamptrek2015. Standing in Durbar Square, Kathmandu.

Team World Vision in March 2015 before our #Everestbasecamptrek2015. Standing in Durbar Square, Kathmandu.

It’s so surreal to have been standing in this spot, just a month ago, in the heart of a bustling ancient city… and for now it to be reduced to rubble. The rich cultural heritage of the city will be hard to repair… but the lives that have been lost are simply irreplaceable.
A photo of Bouddahnath and friends in March... it's now a crumbled mess.

A photo of Bouddahnath and friends in March… it’s now a crumbled mess.

Matt Darvas in Gorkha, Nepal, sharing his experience of #NepalEarthquake

Some huge updates and news coming in from Gorka, Nepal, from Matt Darvas. Working with INF and World Vision Australia. Read the words from Matt.

To support World Vision Australia in Nepal, please donate here!

ten news

UPDATE – It’s now 4:30 AM here in Gorkha, Nepal. Managed to sleep well for a few hours this morning though I slept under a tarp in an open field infront of government HQ with villagers afraid to sleep in homes. We had 2 tremors that woke me last night but no damage from them here. My focus today is on continuing to share the story from here, which is that more than 2 DAYS after the quake, there are many villages near my current location where no rescue teams have been able to land despite there being people buried under rubble with up to 70-90% of homes completely destroyed in those villages worst hit. This is because they DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT HELICOPTERS or rescue teams here yet. I can’t tell if that’s because those resources are genuinely unavailable or because they are being focused on Kathmandu and trekkers stuck around Everest etc. Whatever the case, the world needs to get those specialist resources here now where the death toll is certainly set to rise dramatically in coming days.

Driving into Gorkha

Driving into Gorkha

PLEASE PRAY – that the world would get this message from Gorkha and that I may be effective in helping to share. Pray for strength and wisdom as to how to best act and thank God I’ve somehow kept full 3G reception to keep doing live video interviews with world media. I am truly seeing God guide my efforts far far beyond what I could possibly imagine to achieve by myself and just trying to be a faithful witness to Jesus love amongst these devastated and scared people. God has not forgotten these people buried and trapped in the remote villages around me and nor can we.

Gorkha yesterday

Gorkha yesterday

AND please pray for my beautiful wife Brittany Darvas and daughter who are safe in Pokhara and starting to help neighbours there. In many ways it’s harder for Britt back there without me and looking after Zippy though we have wonderful Nepali and foreigner friends looking after them.

MSF arrives

MSF arrives

There’s also an update from Brittany, Matt’s wife in Pokhara, Nepal.

UPDATE: It’s 10pm here and we’ve just had yet another aftershock, almost 60 hours after the earthquake! Thanks for all your prayers and encouragement, especially with Matt away! Zipporah and I are doing ok, but obviously still stressed and anxious.

Today we took some supplies up to the house of our milkman, who lives in a village on the hillside next to Pokhara, as his house and many others there are either in ruins or are cracking so they’re having to sleep outside!

Thanks to Lucy for keeping me company (and sane) tonight!

Please continue to pray for Matt , for safety and strength and energy as he has been working day and night!

On a slightly humorous note, not letting Zippy out of arms length means I’ve had to sit her in the highchair in the bathroom when I’m on the toilet, which she finds hilarious!

po pok pokh

Lots of media and interviews today – tune in and check out the clips. Will share more updates where possible.

5:45 AM Nepal Time, 10.00 AM AEST – BBC five LIVE

6:00 AM Nepal Time, 10.15 AM AEST – MSNBC

6:30 AM Nepal Time, 10.45 AM AEST ABC News

7:00 AM Nepal Time, 11.15 AM AEST – Fox TV Australia

7:45 AM Nepal Time, 12 PM AEST- msnbc

8:15 AM Nepal Time, 12.30 PM AEST, ITV Good Morning Britain interview

10:15 AM Nepal Time, 2.30 PM AEST 702 ABC Sydney

21:15PM Nepal Time, 1.30AM AEST – CNN

Posted by Emma Lovell on behalf of Matt Darvas. International Media please contact diwa.aquino.gacosta from World Vision International on Skype. For Australian enquiries, please contact

Updates from the #NepalEarthquake from someone on the ground!

Thoughts are with World Vision Australia staff member Matt Darvas today as he heads to one of the hardest hit areas by #nepalearthquake. Matt is in the heart of the epicentre near Gorkha and heading to the most remote villages in this region to offer supplies and support.

Donations can be made here to support the efforts of crews on the ground: 

Driving into Gorkha

Driving into Gorkha

You can hear him speaking on BBC radio about his experience in Pokhara. My team and I were there less than a month ago. A peaceful lakeside town now over run with casualties from this disaster.

“The ground shook for 3 minutes” @mdarvas descibes the aftershocks in #Nepalquake

Pokhara one month ago.

Pokhara one month ago.

Just can’t believe the destruction in ‪#‎Nepal‬‪#‎durbarsquare‬ ‪#‎patan‬yesterday. I was there in 2006. See the bell…. Now look around … Support @worldvisionaus to get aid to ‪#‎Nepalquake‬ ‪#‎nepalearthquake‬…


I’ve been watching news and updates all day and it’s starting to really affect me now the severity of the situation. The reality of the devastation that people are living through is inconceivable. I stood in these locations a few weeks ago… and now these places are rubble. The death told is 3200 and counting. To hear from friends today living through this turmoil is heartbreaking.

We can do something, we can donate and support non profit organisations on the ground to provide relief and supplies to those most in need:

Donate Nepal Earthquake Appeal


Some updates from Matt today:

Tune in for interviews today with updates from the situation in Nepal‪#‎Nepalearthquake‬. Some may broadcast LIVE or be included in a later news bulletin.

8:15am Nepal time, 12.30pm AEST – Eternity – Australian Christian newsonline interview

9:15 Nepal Time, 1.30pm AEST Sky News Australia

10:45 Nepal Time, 3pm AEST – Radio 2UE

11:30 Nepal Time, 3.45pm 702 ABC Sydney


PM Schedule

12:45 PM Nepal Time, 5pm AEST ABC Statewide Drive Victoria

Follow Matt on Twitter @mdarvas