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Hi all, a few quick thoughts on Nepal.
I’ve been flying drones for many years now and one interesting thing about them is they literally change your perspective.
On the ground, the effects of an earthquake like the ones in Nepal are immediate, and more than anything, heartbreaking. Working with the villagers, building their shelters, providing fresh water—it’s all overwhelmingly rewarding. It can bring you to tears. It DOES bring you to tears. To meet the Dalits or “untouchables” of Nepal, to see the hardship they face, the gratitude they have for the relieve you’ve provide — it’s just heartbreaking. As aid is distributed throughout the country they are the last to receive it—if ever, because of the country’s rigid caste system.
On the ground, you are surprised by the joy and resilience of these people. Their love for each other, despite receiving it from no one, their love for their land, it’s all so difficult to comprehend. As an outsider, your heart can do nothing but break for them.
From the air, a different story unfolds. The devastation in Nepal is vast beyond the ability of a single photograph or video, and the view from a drone makes that clear. But there’s something else—the beauty of Nepal, the sheer size of the land, and the villagers no longer seem isolated, rather, they seem to have found heaven to build their village.
To see the Dalit from above is to understand the beauty they find in their everyday lives from the ground—the wonder of their world, the love they have for each other, and the welcoming spirit they have to anyone who would enter their heaven. To see it from above is to briefly understand the sublime.
It can move you to tears. It’s heartbreak of gratitude, though. Of wonder. To see such beauty and know (1) how warmly you have been welcomed into it as an outsider, and (2) that you—and I mean all of you who contribute to Dronation—have helped in some small way preserve this way of life.
I’m not sure I can describe how moving this is. So thank you. Thank you to all of you and I hope this video shares some small sense of that.
And as the dust settles from the earthquakes, there’s a lot of rebuilding still to be done. Thanks to your support through Dronation.com, we’ve been able to do just that. Generators, solar panels, water purification—all of these have saved the lives of the Dalit while we rebuild. Thank you.
In addition to that, more than 40 resilient homes and EK shelters have been built, over 300 of 425 people in the village of Tathali now have shelter, and tin roofs have been installed on the homes of 75 Dalit families. Your dronations have not just saved lives, but families and whole villages.
Also, in addition to ensuring response-relief to the “untouchables” of Nepal, Dronation.com has also committed to rebuilding for the longer-term. That’s why we are announcing a $10,000 to Nepal Communitere, who is focused on long-term relief and resources for preventing this devastation in the future. (Check them out at www.communitere.org)
I would like to say another massive thank you to everyone who continues to support the incredible people of Nepal. You are too numerous to name, but I would be remiss not to mention Bronwyn, La Ma, Iswari, Prem, Paresh, Spun, and Axata.
As always, you can continue to support our efforts here at www.dronation.com through the dronation form below.
And finally, if what I’ve loved about flying drones is a change in perspective, what I am grateful to all of you for (and to the people of Nepal) is you truly make me feel like I’m flying.
Thank you and namaste,