Embracing Chaos

Surrounded by giants as we travel over Larke Pass 5,200 meters en-route to Sama.

It felt like weeks had gone by as we finally found ourselves waiting in the Kathmandu Airport for our bags to arrive. The conveyor belts spun round and round with the occasional cardboard box and suitcase. It had been a short 3-hour flight from Kunming, China, but I already felt a world away. China had been 2 days of long, stressful layovers ending with the customs officer informing us that we had over stayed our visit in China by 24 hours and that we were gong to be fined and possibly deported back to the States. Close to missing our flight, we were finally given permission to leave due finding fault in the Chinese airline who booked our international flight itinerary.

These trips are always an adventure, but we were not prepared for what would happen next.

Finally arriving at our hotel, we were greeted with cold beer, homemade bread, and a beautiful room to relax and prepare for the next 7 weeks of this journey. It felt as though we had arrived in heaven. There is something about the chaos in this city that brings me to life, but I was tired and hadn’t eaten in nearly 12 hours. I was starting to get a bit grumpy and uncomfortable, so laying down in this bed was the most relaxed I had been in a long time.

Sadhu's gather outside of the Shree Pashupatinath temple in Katmandu.

Half asleep I started to feel the bed shake. It was a feeling that I had become accustomed to during the earthquakes that ripped though Nepal nearly 1 year ago. It was also a feeling that haunted me and the millions of Nepali’s who suffered its devastation. People started screaming. Cherise looked to me with panic in her eyes, It’s another earthquake! We quickly ran out of our room, located on the second floor of a 3 story cement building. We weren’t exactly in a great place to be during another earthquake. The 4.5 tremor lasted nearly 30 seconds. You could hear the fear in the voices of those around us. Less than a year ago their homes were destroyed and families broken up by a 7.8 earthquake. We were quickly reminded how much this country has been through in the past 12 months.

24 year old black smith plays the Tamburi before starting his day shaping farm tools. Mingma is also a major character in our film Untouchable.

The people of Barpak sort through the rubble of what once was their home after the April 25th earthquake devastated the area.

The monastery in Lho was destroyed after the quake and all the children evacuated to Kathmandu, before the children boarded the helicopter they were prepared one last meal by this woman. They seemed happy, even tough their lives had been turned upside down.

Young monks prepare to leave their monastery in the mountains of Lho Nepal where they will continue their studies in Kathmandu. 

Hopefully moving forward only days after the earthquake struck her home. Located in the epicenter she was forced to start over. 

One year ago Cherise and I arrived in Nepal for the first time. We were unaware of how much this place would change us. It has become our second home. Through the good and the bad times, we feel blessed to be hosted by such a magnificent country with such beautiful people. As we were reminded last night by the shaking of this city, the journey is far from over; we don’t know what is around the next corner. I believe that is why we keep coming back; why we feel such a deep connection to this place. We have experienced so much here, have given so much, and received so much more.

Be sure to visit www.wingatemotion.com for more updates on our upcoming projects!

Cherise and I trekking to Smamgoun, where we would shoot our documentary Untouchable. Photo: Brian Mosbaugh