Joty Sohi (Nepal)

Prior to her fellowship, Joty earned a BA from the Rutgers University and an MA from City University London. Joty interned at the British Red Cross where she educated London’s youth on International Humanitarian issues. Joty has also worked at local and State level organizations developing and executing programs for individuals with special needs. After the fellowship, she wrote: "It has opened my eyes to what it's like to work abroad for a smaller Non-profit. The best experience for me was to see through an actual project and get it done." Contact: jsohi@advocacynet.org



The Monster Beneath The Bed

17 Jun

I sat up in my bed, in an absolute panic. The moment I had been dreading since I had arrived in Nepal was finally here. It was a 4.1 after shock; its epicenter was in Sindhupalchowk. Since I had arrived in Kathmandu there had been 6 after shocks reported. They had come and gone unnoticed to me.  A part of me thought I might be immune to the trembling earth. Not quiet the case, because here I was up at 3:30 am terror stricken while my bed shook beneath me ever so slightly.

A part of me felt relieved to have finally felt an actual aftershock. I had been living in fear ever since I arrived in Nepal of this very moment. Constantly imagining the earth viciously rumbling and moving underneath me. Now that I had experienced it first hand, the fear was no longer unknown.  The aftershock had provided me with a tiny bit of insight, I’d like to think, to the experience of what the Nepali people are going through.

Simply captivating is the only way I can describe the people and dynamic city of Katmandu. I was hooked the minute my eyes grazed the majestic mountainous landscape that is Nepal. The hours of reading I had done felt wasteful, none of it prepared me for what I was about to experience. Upon my arrival I noticed the aftermath from that day was still very much present in the city. The destruction it left behind had made itself a long term resident instead of a weekend visitor.  From the piles of relief aid stacked on the side of the tarmacs at the airport, the mountains of rubble left around the city, and the thousands left living in temporary shelters. All of this seemed a constant reminder that there is a monster hiding underneath the bed.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the remarkable spirit embedded in the people of Nepal. I had imagined that people here would be anxious, upset, and incredibly angry for what they have had to go through. Instead they showed a complete stranger genuine kindness; showed remarkable strength when sharing their experiences from that day and the many days after; and faced each day with resilience.  Especially the youth of Nepal, it’s obvious a force consumes them, their strength has been wilted but they’re determined to stand tall again. Just as the fallen building are a constant reminder of that tragic days there are also posters and art around the city announcing that “Nepal will rise again” reminding them just how much they’re capable of.  So many people took the initiative whether it was by collaborating with existing grassroots or realizing their own capacity in their community. Through their individual efforts the power of “OUR” was reinforced. This is “OUR” Nepal and its future is ours.

I think the quake might have accidentally instilled a virtue in the minds of many. After such a catastrophe there is a realization of responsibility amongst individuals. With a strong belief in the power of “OUR”. There exists hope that Nepal will not return to normal, it will return to a new normal. My hope is that it be a better normal.

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I sat up in my bed, in an absolute panic. The moment I had been dreading since I had arrived in Nepal was finally here. It was a 4.1 after shock; its epicenter was in Sindhupalchowk. Since I had arrived in Kathmandu there had been 6 after shocks reported. They had come and gone unnoticed to me.  A part of me thought I might be immune to the trembling earth. Not quiet the case, because here I was up at 3:30 am terror stricken while my bed shook beneath me ever so slightly.<\/span><\/p>

A part of me felt relieved to have finally felt an actual aftershock. I had been living in fear ever since I arrived in Nepal of this very moment. Constantly imagining the earth viciously rumbling and moving underneath me. Now that I had experienced it first hand, the fear was no longer unknown.  The aftershock had provided me with a tiny bit of insight, I\u2019d like to think, to the experience of what the Nepali people are going through.<\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””},{“id”:”11″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

Simply captivating is the only way I can describe the people and dynamic city of Katmandu. I was hooked the minute my eyes grazed the majestic mountainous landscape that is Nepal. The hours of reading I had done felt wasteful, none of it prepared me for what I was about to experience. Upon my arrival I noticed the aftermath from that day was still very much present in the city. The destruction it left behind had made itself a long term resident instead of a weekend visitor.  From the piles of relief aid stacked on the side of the tarmacs at the airport, the mountains of rubble left around the city, and the thousands left living in temporary shelters. All of this seemed a constant reminder that there is a monster hiding underneath the bed.<\/span><\/p>\n”,”class”:””},{“id”:”12″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

What I wasn\u2019t prepared for was the remarkable spirit embedded in the people of Nepal. I had imagined that people here would be anxious, upset, and incredibly angry for what they have had to go through. Instead they showed a complete stranger genuine kindness; showed remarkable strength when sharing their experiences from that day and the many days after; and faced each day with resilience.  Especially the youth of Nepal, it\u2019s obvious a force consumes them, their strength has been wilted but they\u2019re determined to stand tall again. Just as the fallen building are a constant reminder of that tragic days there are also posters and art around the city announcing that \u201cNepal will rise again\u201d reminding them just how much they\u2019re capable of.  So many people took the initiative whether it was by collaborating with existing grassroots or realizing their own capacity in their community. Through their individual efforts the power of \u201cOUR\u201d was reinforced. This is \u201cOUR\u201d Nepal and its future is ours.<\/span>
<\/p>\n”,”class”:””},{“id”:”13″,”block”:”rte”,”content”:”

I think the quake might have accidentally instilled a virtue in the minds of many. After such a catastrophe there is a realization of responsibility amongst individuals. With a strong belief in the power of \u201cOUR\u201d. There exists hope that Nepal will not return to normal, it will return to a new normal. My hope is that it be a better normal.<\/span>
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Posted By Joty Sohi (Nepal)

Posted Jun 17th, 2015

3 Comments

  • Nada

    June 24, 2015

     

    I can’t imagine how terrifying this experience must have been, I’m glad you’re okay. The resilience of the Nepali people is admirable – after going through so much devastation they are still determined to make a better future for their country. I hope that your work at CONCERN will contribute to this “better normal!” Looking forward to reading more about your experiences this summer.

  • Yasmeen

    June 24, 2015

     

    Joty, I’m sure that experiencing an aftershock was frightening! I’m glad that you are okay, and seem to have gained some insight from this event. At best—as you mentioned—the aftershock has provided you with a new sense of understanding for what the Nepali earthquake victims have endured themselves. It puts you in the unique position to help them not just as an outsider, but as a person who has had a small glimpse of what the victims have undergone during and after the quakes. It’s great to hear that the spirits of the Nepali people have not succumbed to the devastation that surrounds them. Can’t wait to hear more!

  • Annika

    June 25, 2015

     

    Joty, sounds like a scary experience – I’m glad you’re okay!
    I liked what you said about the “power of the ‘OUR’.” After disasters, it’s amazing to see how people can join together, often with nothing but the force of their community bonds, to recover and rebuild. It reminds me of a similar force of “social capital” in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, when it was not international relief responders, but Haitian friends and family members on the ground, who were often the true “relief” and “development” agents.

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