My Top 6 photos from reaching Everest Base Camp

I guess I’ve held off on posting these since the terrible devastation that was the #nepalearthquake. I had planned to write post after post about my experience and share my story of reaching Everest Base Camp with Team World Vision Australia in March 2015. But 3 weeks after I returned… disaster struck and my focus was changed.

As the Nepalese people begin to gain some strength and encourage tourists to go to Nepal and see their beautiful country, I want to share some of my most special moments.

I advise checking with companies such as Royal Mountain Travel for the possibilities of safe travel and locations that are accessible. It’s best to be safe but I hope that sooner rather than later people can return to see the beauty in the people and the country that is Nepal.

My Top 6 from my Trek to Everest Base Camp with World Vision Australia. 

_everestbasecamptrek2015_we_re_so_close_now....__

#everestbasecamptrek2015 we’re so close now…. 🙂

The_view_out_my_window_the_morning_of_trekking_to__everest_from__Lobuche_..._Yes___icicles_-19_____everestbasecamptrek2015

The view out my window the morning of trekking to #everest from #Lobuche … Yes! #icicles -19!!! #everestbasecamptrek2015

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Jumping for joy over #prayerflags at #everestbasecamp! @worldvisionaus $98,000 raised! @inspiredadventures thank you! #everestbasecamptrek2015

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My incredible guides from Royal Mountain Travel Amar, Gopal and Bikram! We can’t do it without these amazing guys! Namaste and Dhan ya vaad.Welcome_to_my_mountains__Represent__worldvisionaus_._Between__Lobuche____gorekshep__everestbasecamptrek2015

Welcome to my mountains! Represent @worldvisionaus . Between #Lobuche &#gorekshep#everestbasecamptrek2015Team__worldvisionaus__inspiredadventures__everestbasecamptrek2015_we_did_it___

Team @worldvisionaus @inspiredadventures #everestbasecamptrek2015 we did it!!!

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Here is the whole #WorldVision #EverestBaseCampTrek2015 team standing proudly at their goal – 5,360m up in the #Himalayas! The team raised over $100,000 for World Vision’s work in #Nepal – an incredible achievement!@inspiredadventures

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.
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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: http://blog.worldvision.com.au/a-state-of-helplessness-kumar-bahadur-gurung/?source=FB_NON_280415#sthash.J2eyCZQX.dpuf”
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!

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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!

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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 gabrielle.brophy@worldvision.com.au

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 Pokharabbc.in/1EFiywH #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 ‪#‎nepalearthquake‬https://emergencies.worldvision.com.au/…

durbar

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

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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

What happens if you get trapped hiking in the mountains?

Matt Darvas, World Vision worker in Nepal, can tell you exactly what happens. He was trapped in the Nepalese mountains, Annapurnas, when trekking last year. Matt has been living in Nepal for quite a while and done a number of treks, but perhaps this was to be his last.

Here are a few excerpts from Matt’s incredible adventure.

The day started just like any other in Nepal’s mountains. We knocked off five hours of walking before breakfast at 10:30 AM – in this case a huge serving of ‘Dhal Bhat’ (lentils, rice and vegetable curry) – and were making steady progress up the highest peak of the trek when the weather set in.”

All I could see was a wall of white as the mountain fell away, leaving us poised on a sheer drop that only revealed itself intermittently between the short gaps in the cloud that now covered us…

…What option did I have? There was no going back at this point and only one way down.

As I inched my way down across the face, I was muttering the following to myself furiously.

How could I possibly have allowed myself to end up in a situation like this? This is unnecessary, stupid and down right dangerous! I don’t need this. I have a wife, a job, a plan for my life (provided I make it down off this cliff) and it certainly doesn’t involve this!

matt darvas

Read more about his amazing adventure on his blog here: http://mattdarvas.com/2014/11/04/trapped-in-nepals-mountains/#

I also highly recommend you sign up as he is a great writer and living an incredible life on his journey of working in Nepal.

My 5 favourite photos from visiting my World Vision sponsor child Nepal

It’s hard to choose, but these are the five top photos that I posted to friends and family from my day with Kamala, my World Vision sponsor child. I sponsored her with my mother for 5 years and to meet her was a dream. Seeing her school, looking into her eyes and hearing about her life was just incredible. We also got to see projects in the community and learn how World Vision has made a difference here.

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The moment I realised I was meeting Kamala, my #sponsorchild through@worldvisionaus. Her mother began to cry as her little daughter stood between us. So much emotion.

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A special moment with Kamala. It’s hard to connect sometimes when there are so many people and it can be so intimidating for the #sponsorchild. After some time sitting together, we started to make faces & I saw her relax and feel comfortable. I loved this moment. I said in “Nepali” are you ok!? Tik sa? She said “Tik sa.” I’m ok.

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The incredible elders of Kamala my @worldvisionaus #sponsorchild watch over our meeting together. Their smiles meant the world to me.

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My final moment with Kamala at #kailaliADP #worldvisionnepal@worldvisionaus we hugged and looked in each other’s eyes and smiled.

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My Darling Kamala and her little brother ran after the car until they couldn’t keep up. @worldvisionaus #sponsorchild visit. They then waved until the car was out of sight.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Nepal on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

What’s the other reason I’m in Nepal?

I’m climbing to Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia: https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.

Project visits after meeting Kamala, my World Vision Sponsor Child

After the emotion of meeting my darling Kamala , a little girl in Nepal I have sponsored with my mother for 5.5 years, I was treated to a tour of the local area with the World Vision staff. It’s important with World Vision to not only learn about and meet the child you sponsor but the greater community which is also supported by our generous donations.

Meeting Kamlaa

Meeting Kamlaa

The visit was of course the highlight and I have shared my experience and story here.

In the morning, my first stop was to the ADP office to meet with staff of World Vision. I was met at my hotel by child sponsorship manager, Kiran. He is a kind and sweet man who clearly has a passion for seeing children live a better life. Soon after I met the lovely Absara, a young intern at World Vision. I was the first child sponsor she had met and she was very excited to see my experience. We sat with the manager of the ADP, Mr Rajan and then met with the entire team. I always like this process with world vision. We are all introduced and each person tells their role. I also introduced myself and shared my many experiences with World Vision and my role now as a #WVAblogger for World Vision Australia. Most importantly, I thanked them for their efforts and tireless work. As a sponsor the best part is seeing the lives of our children in foreign countries and how our support helps.

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Kiran showed me around and also showed me the folder of Kamala’s entire sponsorship history. It was magnificent to see her development over the time and the correspondence we had had over the years. I also got to see the computer system where they keep all the updates on the children. It’s meticulously detailed and I was so impressed and pleased to see that World Vision are so invested in the children’s lives.

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After my visit to kamala’s school we went to another local office. This office was manned by two staff members and they explained their role in more of the nutrition and health side of the projects. They ran Early Childhood Development centres, mothers groups, Outreach Centres for immunizations and childs health and general nutition and health information for the wider community. They have a group called the Unity Society and again this main focus is health. Great to hear of so many programs being run and I would get the chance to see some today.

Staff building the Community Outreach Centre

Staff building the Community Outreach Centre

We went then on some very treacherous and bumpy roads and even had to stop short and walk due to mud and huge divots in the road. We were met by community volunteer, beautiful Padma and walked to amothers group. At the site, they were also building an Early Childhood Development Centre. This is where mothers could take small children and start their education and basic life skills.

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Mothers and babies met under a tarp and sat on a mat to greet me. I don’t like to be so formal and separated so I asked to sit amongst them and chat. We talked about their monthly meetings and what they learnt. Some were also members of savings groups, one of my favourite programs run by world vision. Through being a member they can save their own funds into a large pool with other women and take out small loans from the group to fund business growth or help in times of need with chidlrens health and education. It provides financial empowerment and business skills to women in these communities.

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The leader of the group was a Governemnt health worker and she was actually the mother of Padma. It was so lovely to see that the World Vision passion and support continues through the generations and really becomes a sustainable part of the community. I asked her questions about her role and what the group is able to achieve. She helps the mothers with health advice and they talk to them about nutrition and caring for their child. They meet once a month to share their stories and learn together. It was sucha pleasure to share time with them.

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We next went to visit a school. I love schools!!! This school had 1100 children…. Ummmmm!! They swarmed towards me as we approached and I remembered it was the festival Holi. There was colour flying everywhere and cheeky boys were chasing girls to smudge bright colours to their cheeks. I saw one looking at me slyly so I patted my cheeks and he gladly walked over and smeared pink all over my face. I was inducted to holi and the children roared with laughter.

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As I walked into the group and through the grounds, I was surrounded 360 degrees by fascinated children of all ages wanting to catch a glimpse. Another young man approached me, this time with handfuls of red dust. I welcomed him and he really got stuck into putting the colour all over me. Wow! If you’re going to do it, do it well. A few other boys came up and I now had a completely covered face and they found it very amusing. I smudged some colour off my face and patted it on the cheeks of the smaller children around me. I could have played all day. Except, when they started sparing water, we were outta there. My hosts led me upstairs to the teacher’s office to meet with staff.

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We sat in a room with six teachers and were joined by another young volunteer for World Vision. We again did the introductions of ourselves and what our roles were. They told me about working with the children and that there were 1100 kids in the school. I was pleased to hear 600 are girls and 500 are boys. So many girls in school is so great. There are approximately 100 registered sponsor children through World Vision at the school. World Vision run teacher training programs as well as the “One Goal” program here. That’s a program for children to play soccer and then take part in other activities such as hygiene, sanitation, child protection and awareness and other such important life skills. It was so nice to see the teachers engaged in the program and working with World Vision to help the children.

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Our final visit for the day was to the Outreach Centre, ORC. This is being built at the time and the community project manager was so proud to meet me and show me their work. I was one week too early as they plan on being finished and in business for the community next week. Governemnt health workers will come here and help with immunizations, weighing of children, health checks and running nuritiuon and basic care clinics for mothers nad children. Helath workers and volunteers will go around to the 300 households in the community and tell them about when they can go to the outreach centre. These are extremely important programs for World Vision as it gives people who would otherwise not have it, access to basic health and to education for a healthy child and family.

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We returned to the office. A long drive along bumpy roads and then down a busy highway. I stared out the window and let my mind wander. The thing about these project visit days is that it puts you on a whole new plane of awareness. The world is so much bigger than all of us. There are people and places we will never see, there are issues we will never know about and our role in context is so small. But great things start from small beginnings. Through sponsoring one child in a village, you can be a part of a community of supporters that help them to grow and develop for a more quality life.

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“Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything.

Do anything. Do SOMETHING!”

– Colleen Patrick – Goudeau

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Thank you again World Vision Australia and World Vision Nepal for giving me this opportunity to meet my sponsor and child and see into her world.

You can experience what it’s like to help those in communities such as this by sponsoring a child:

Learn more about how Sponsorship works here:

Follow my journey with World Vision Australia in Nepal on a number of channels:

#tag: #WVAbloggers

Instagram: @Lovellyem

Twitter: @Lovellyinc

Blog: www.travellerem.com

Facebook. www.facebook.com/lovellycommunications

 world vision

What’s the other reason I’m in Nepal?

I’m climbing to Everest Base Camp on March 7, 2015. Sponsor me and support the work of World Vision Australia: https://everest2015.everydayhero.com/au/emma-takes-on-the-best-trek-everest. You can follow our adventure on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hash tag #everestbasecamptrek2015 and by following @inspiredadvntrs on Twitter and the blog here.