2 Visits, 5 Years Apart
The first time I traveled to Nepal was April of 2012. I was mystified by the Himalayas, the peaks of which took my breath away. I trekked part of the world renown Annapurna Conservation Area. But the people, and their resilience impressed me more than even the landscape. Nepalis two or three times my age hiked past me, carrying hundreds of pounds with the strength of their neck. They'd smoke a cigarette as I struggled to catch my breath and 7,000 feet elevation. My backpack was empty in comparison - a camera, water, and my lunch.
In April 2015 a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal killing 9,000 people and injuring 22,000 more. It crumbled homes, schools, infrastructure, temples, and centuries old UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
In April of 2017 I returned to Nepal. A full 2 years after the earthquake, and this country was still rebuilding. I visited many of the same historic sites, and even some of the same people. Here's a comparison of my before and after photos.