16 Jun Nepal Tragedy: Reflections and Response
4/25, 2015. It was Win Mumby finals. There were only two things on my mind. One was the performance I needed to give before the finals and the other was the result of Win Mumby. I overheard groups of people murmuring about an earthquake in Nepal. I did not pay much attention to it. I regret this. It was only after Win Mumby I realized the severity of the earthquake. Devastating pictures that filling my news feed, worried friends trying to contact their parents… That was when I was ashamed of myself. Ashamed of my ignorance and lack of sensitivity.
I do not know much about Nepal. To be honest, Katmandu, Everest, and Wai-Wai are the only things that come to my mind when I think of Nepal. Nevertheless, I can find multiple reasons why I should lament next to my Nepali friends. Actually, I do not even need reasons for it. An earthquake, magnitude of 7.8, the death toll of over 8600 and more than 18,000 injured. Again, I do not need a reason to pray for Nepal. Woodstock is a tight community where everyone cares about each other. The sorrow of my friends is a sorrow for me as well.
That very day, a task force was set up at Woodstock to coordinate a response to the earthquake. Various ways of funding followed, such as every student donating their lunch and having a food sale instead. I participated in this food sale, putting up a Korean food stall with fellow Korean students. I was both glad and amazed by the care and action of my classmates. Participants selflessly gave in their time and effort and raised 1.8 lakh rupees that day. There was also a silent auction which featured items donated by members of Woodstock and the local community. In the end, we raised a total of 3.4 lakh for relief and rebuilding efforts.
The outcome of the earthquake is devastating. Thousands of lives are lost and more are injured, and the numbers are still counting after the second earthquake with magnitude of 7.4. Monuments and artifacts of incalculable values are lost as well. It will take years, decades, or even centuries to restore what is lost. However, Nepal, you are not alone. I will be here next to you, we will be here next to you. I believe this incident showed the quality of goodness Woodstock has and I hope the collective effort of Woodstock will be at least a little bit of to our neighbors in Nepal.
-Ju Heon Suh ’15