Namaste. The first word spoken upon my arrival to Kathmandu, Nepal. It was the evening of May 28, 2015, just a little over one month following the first devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that affected Nepal, that I arrived in Kathmandu to support the clean drinking water efforts in the region. Within this one month time span, the people of Nepal had experienced over three major earthquakes (all greater than 6.7 magnitude) and over 250 aftershocks. These numbers resulting in disruption to the region – homes turned to rubble, lost lives, displaced communities, disorder of daily life, and dramatic reduction in basic needs. Entering these unsettled conditions, the word Namaste left me with a sense of togetherness amongst the disorder. A togetherness evident in the Nepalese people who have maintained a core purpose in the face of their changed circumstances.
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