A Prayer for Nepal.

NamasteThree years ago, almost to the day, I was in Nepal. I had traveled there from China, where I’d been visiting Heifer projects, and was supposed to have stopped in Tibet but sadly, I couldn’t get a visa from the Chinese overlords and ended up with five extra days in Kathmandu. kath2To say Kathmandu is an overload for the senses in a vast understatement, particularly since I’d been used to staying in the rural countryside where Heifer projects abound, (and you can’t buy much besides food or hay). But in Kathmandu, there is no end to all the things you could possibly wish to purchase.super cuteSo I walked the endless, crazy streets pockmarked with construction and packed with shops and people….

thread vendor


rickshaw….visited the holy sites…

The eyes of the Buddha


krishna…and tried to drink in everything around me.everest-beer-portraitIt wasn’t until I got to the countryside, though, that I felt as if I were really experiencing Nepal. Just getting there was fairly arduous as the steepness of the terrain and vastness of the Himalayas quickly overtake you.




Himalayas above the cloudsIt’s almost impossible to imagine people trying to farm here, and yet they do.

Tirtha & Mitha with their water harvest, greenhouses below and new plants.

With a grace, spirit and resilience that is something to behold.

Goma & Saraswoti Mishra, president of WGCC


Mithu Namaste

wowYesterday, Nepal was hit by the worst earthquake in almost 80 years, with 3,700 already known dead — and I’m beyond worried about the people I met in these villages and in Kathmandu, all the Heifer Nepalese folks working in these projects, and the animals themselves, who  live in even more precariously built structures than the farmers.

at risk

Som & goat

I know we are going to hear a lot about the 17 western climbers who perished on Everest, but I’d like to leave you with some photos of the people of Nepal who are at the heart of this crisis.

Sisterhood is powerful.

baby namaste

Thuli Maya Lama

Shiva Lal Chepang, teacher extraordinaire.

beautiful kids

Who they're fighting for...

Krishna's Mother in Law

Neither does he...


And here is where you can give if you’re so moved: Heifer Nepal Rehabilitation Fund.


Categories: Agriculture, Animals, Disaster, Heifer International, Nepal, Philanthropy, Photography, Poverty, Travel, Women | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

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24 thoughts on “A Prayer for Nepal.

  1. Barb Oakes

    Betty, Thank you so much for this beautiful post. I’m a Heifer Volunteer in Illinois. I was just sitting down to send an email to the many churches I have spoken to about Heifer. I was going to send them a link to the Heifer blog update about Nepal as of this afternoon and direct them to my Team Heifer site for contributions. I will now add a link to this wonderful site of “real people” — faces that could be gone — to add to the impact of what may have happened to our project partners, I have not been to Nepal, but I’ve been to Heifer projects in 7 countries, and I know from watching the DVD Twelve Stones that this is an area where very special women’s projects are at work across the caste system lines. Bless you for providing this for me to send with my request for our churches and my friends to help. Barb Oakes, Girard, Il

    • You are very welcome, Barb — and I am so happy to virtually meet you! I know the power of volunteers like you who inspire churches and communities in America to support Heifer projects, and it’s the backbone of how these projects get funded, so THANK YOU!! The Nepal Heifer projects are very much women-focused, very long-lasting, and very sophisticated, and it’s just tragic to think how much work has been destroyed with this earthquake — not to mention all those beautiful people whose lives have been made that much harder. THANKS for all you do, Barb!

  2. A personal thank you for writing this post dear Betty. Your brilliant photographs do exactly what you hoped they’d do.

    • Dear Rosie — SO SO good to hear from you! I was heartbroken all over again to look at my photos of all the beautiful people I met in Nepal, and had to post. I’m writing you a long email this afternoon!

  3. What a beautiful looking country and people. The work you do is fantastic.

  4. Mark Russell

    Thank you Betty for doing what you do so well. You make places real and show the beauty and strengths of the resilient people as they make the world a better place.

  5. Anonymous

    Dearest Betty,

    I was just discussing with Michael how you would feel this tragic news on a very personal level. Also, I was reminded how you still really need to set up an art exhibit maybe titled “Our Neighbors in this Global World” exhibiting so many of our worldly fellow men and women’s dreams, hopes and aspirations of a better life for their loved ones and families. Both your Heifer project and What Gives 365 work magnificently captured the earthly human spirit. I believe a gallery showing would be a public good and education for all ages.



    • Thanks so much, Ginger — I was so upset when I heard the news, and then when I started going through my photos, it just brought me to tears, imagining all that the country is going thru. I love your empathy & compassion … what a heart you have for others!!!

  6. Tamara Nash

    Dear Betty:
    Thank you so much for this reminder of the gorgeous people and the breathtakingly beautiful countryside so desperately in need of our prayers at this time! Tearful as I write this, in acknowledgement of the great loss and inescapable helplessness. It’s incomprehensible.

  7. Louise

    Thank you, Betty, for putting a face on the catastrophe for those of us literally across the world. I have sent this to my closest folks in hope they will click on the donate button as well. Your volunteer time on this project is very much appreciated!

    • Thank YOU for sending this out, Louise — it just breaks my heart when I see those beautiful faces and think of what they might be going through! The buildings in Kathmandu are so flimsy — you can see all the tin roofs and the rock & timber foundations — when they collapse, they just crush everything below. I almost can’t bear to look at the photos, and the government there is so inept, it’s taken about 10 years to try to write a constitution…so it’s hard to imagine that they will be effective in cleaning stuff up. Near the epicenter, reports are that entire towns have been swept under and there is no way to reach the people there — just SO sad!!!

  8. sheppardconsulting

    Thank you!!! Namaste!

    Denise Sheppard Consultant dmsheppardconsulting.com

    denisesheppard@comcast.net 617.755.6001

    “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince


  9. Meredith

    Betty, had made my donation to Heifer and then I see your beautiful photo essay. If anyone can make a difference right away, Heifer can! our prayers join yours.

    • I agree, Meredith — Heifer works so closely with communities, using all-local people to manage the projects, and giving people an ASSET to boost their income & ability to raise food is such a powerful idea! I am so happy that you made a contribution — I am dreadfully worried about the people in Nepal with the cold monsoon season starting soon and the tremors still shaking!

  10. Deb Palmer

    Thanks Betty for the post. Donation given. A beautiful people may they all have found safety in this tragedy.

  11. William Shropshire


    Thanks for your message and pictures of these beautiful people


    Sent from my iPhone


  12. Dianne Glennie

    Just wanted to add my voice to all the other heartfelt comments. As sad and horrific as it has been watching CNN, your post has brought the human element more into focus. I’m sure it breaks your heart to review your photos. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Renee Swanosn

    I so enjoyed your blog when you were traveling for Heifer and have reposted these stunning pictures on facebook. Thank you

  14. Great photo essay and who truly is suffering the loss: it’s the locals en masse.

  15. You are wonderful, Deb!!!

  16. Kitty Farnham

    Wow! Thank you for inviting us to see Nepal and meet her beautiful people through your visit. What a huge terrible tragedy they are now confronting. It must be breaking your heart. I’ve missed seeing you. It’s been too long! Ciao! (Just back from Sicily.). Kitty

    Sent from my iPhone


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