Six Years Ago, Part 2


For any of you who have suffered a sudden trauma, or a scary moment, reliving it is not easy. You literally get chills as your blood heads p...

For any of you who have suffered a sudden trauma, or a scary moment, reliving it is not easy. You literally get chills as your blood heads protectively to the core. 

I still get cold clammy hands when I think about a hike in my late teens. I was in Yosemite with friends and we were hiking the Vernal and Nevada Falls trail. Maybe it was the sound of the running water, but between the two falls, I had the sudden urge to relieve my bladder. I wandered off the trail to find a private place and spotted a couple of bushes growing close together. I pushed my way through the bushes and stepped into... nothing! One foot was over the cliff edge, the other on terra firma. I wind-milled my arms to change my forward momentum. There was a terrifying moment when I had a clear view down the cliff. Yep, my hands are clammy right now thinking about it.

As I reflect in this piece about the events of April and May of 2015, reliving the trauma will be difficult for some of us who experienced the earthquake. 

The earthquake was on April 25th.

This was Lincoln School, March 2015:

Panorama photo from the weight room, one month before the earthquake. At the time of the quake, the pool was complete and filled and the new construction (in the center) had some of the glass window panes in place.

The week prior to the earthquake was busy. On the previous weekend, the school hosted a fine arts festival with students and faculty from Pakistan, Oman, India, and Sri Lanka.

Lincoln Gym April 16th, 2015

The new pool was filled for the first time:

The school welcomed a new administrator that week:

David Tomasini was the Secondary Music Teacher at Lincoln:

In 2015 Molly was a high school humanities teacher. 

Molly and Chip, "First Earthquake"

Molly reflects on that day:

It is stressful to go through an earthquake, but one of the first reactions is to check-in, let friends and family know you are ok, such as David:

It was not just hard on the people in Nepal, but all the friends and family beyond the borders searching for information about their loved ones.

On April 23rd, the school sent three sports teams and their faculty coaches to (1) Chennai, India for Boys' Basketball, (2) Girl's Football in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and (3) Track and Field in Muscat, Oman. Luke Davis tells what it was like to be "away" for the big one.

It is difficult to convince people to prepare for an earthquake. You can not see it coming. You can listen to the scientists such as Lucy Jones here in California warning of the big one for this state. In Nepal, they also knew they were "due" for a big one. Lincoln School was prepared. Even so, items in the school went flying. Can you imagine what the inside of a Costco would be like in a Mega-Earthquake? In the US, you see signs for routes to take if there is a hurricane, tsunami, or even a pyroclastic mud flow (Washington State). Have you ever seen a sign saying beware of earthquakes?

I hope most of you reading this have a disaster plan for your family. How will you contact each other, how will you get back together? There is a strong desire to have your loved ones near to you at such a time. 

Getting in and out of the Kathmandu valley can be difficult even on good days. I had one flight from Istanbul that pulled up on the final approach to the Kathmandu airport. Engines screaming as we were pushed back in our seats to gain altitude. We ended up landing in Dhaka. No clear explanation. Six weeks before the earthquake, Turkish Airlines flight TK726 crash landed at the Kathmandu airport. The one and only runway was blocked for nearly a week. According to the Nepalese Civil Aviation Authority, only nine aircraft can park at the airport: 3 wide-body, and 6 narrow body. That one and only airport in the area illustrates the isolation of the region. Keep that in mind as Luke describes his return to Kathmandu:

Lincoln School survived. Our buildings were safe. Our students and staff were ok. The faculty returned to work and the simple pleasure of checking in with friends after a crisis.

Camp Lincoln was taken down.

Then our students returned, a time of joy, and remembrance:

It was also a time to look beyond our walls and help to repair our host country, Nepal.



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At Home and Away: Six Years Ago, Part 2
Six Years Ago, Part 2
At Home and Away
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