I haven't heard from my Didi in Nepal and have no way to contact her. I have checked her FB page and tried emailing but from Guardian reports a lot of people are sleeping outside their houses tonight for fear of the aftershocks and a possible second wave of earthquakes. My Didi has a well built house but it is on the edge of a sharp declivity in the valley leading down to a few open fields. Its quite posible that her house, or the house she built next to it for her brother, could just have slid down into the fields. This is a worse earthquake than the one that happened while I was there in 1986-89 and Kathmandu itself is more densly populated and has even taller and more shoddy buildings. My Didi is also the governor of a school and residential house for orphans. Those buildings, too, were simple and sturdy and not too tall but the children are extremely vulnerable and have no where else to go. I can't imagine what is happening right now.
The Guardian is reporting that half the buildings in Bhaktapur have fallen down. It makes all the other things I was planning to do, or to write, seem vaporous and meaningless. Years ago one of my friends in my village said to me "when you leave here it will be like a dream that you had." I didn't believe her but of course she was right. When I think about Nepal and my friends there its like a dream--I can revisit it but only in fragments. I have only been back once in the last few decades and that was about four years ago? with my oldest daughter. A powerful and moving event that was like being tossed, drunk, in a blanket for a few days. Now I wish I had been going back regularly. If I weren't an atheist I'd be praying for my Didi, her family, and everyone else in Nepal.