This morning, after breakfast, while Mountain Man and I were meditating in Sonam's meditation room it suddenly felt like a train was coming in the room. We then realised it was an earthquake and ran downstairs to get outside, making sure Sonam, his wife Choenyi and their 2 children and another guest staying here, Yuri from Ukraine, were all out safe. We stayed in the garden close to the ground waiting for aftershocks. After half an hour or more nothing had happened so we went back about our business and because I still had a few minutes meditation to do, I went back up to the meditation room, sat down and within 3 minutes it all started again, so rushed downstairs and back to the garden. It was gentler and didn't last so long, then one more and I decided after that it would be the end of my meditation for the day.
It was decided that we'd all stay safe in the garden for the day, so Choenyi and I set about making a tent construction from an old curtain and took cushions from the chairs.
|Choenyi and I make a tent, while her mother and the kids look on|
Her mother and brother turned up and it was quite a strange picnic party. Sonam made lunch for us all and we sat about chatting and sleeping and playing until late in the afternoon.
MM and I are supposed to head back to Kathmandu tomorrow by bus, right across the epicentre of where the earthquake hit. We went down to the bus depot to check on what was happening, but it seems like the bus is going tomorrow.
After all of this, talking about what we felt when the earthquake hit, it was like my body reacted to it almost like having a panic attack, but without panic. While meditating I felt my heart rate go up and a strange feeling in my gut. What was also extraordinary is that all the birds suddenly went quiet and it was like the whole world was still. And then came the sound like a train and then the building started to shake.
We have been so lucky. There have been many deaths in Kathmandu and the outlying regions, but here we are safe, with good friends, with food and water and we feel very blessed.
As Choenyi said to me at lunch under our homemade tent, 'Vee, this must be the strangest holiday for you?' I think that was an understatement.