The recent earthquake in Nepal has resulted in the loss of more than 7,900 lives as well as the destruction of many world heritage sites and temples. 2.8 million people have been displaced by the earthquake, hundreds of people are still missing. Hospitals are overwhelmed, people need supplies and aid is slow to reach those affected.
Every time I think about it, I feel so sad. We visited Nepal last year and it was one of our favourite places during our trip.
From the moment we arrived in Kathmandu, I knew it was somewhere I would love. Do you ever get that feeling when you visit somewhere? It happened to me with New York, India and Berlin. Sometimes you just fall in love with a place. I fall hard.
Kathmandu was dusty, colourful and friendly. The thin streets were adorned with scarves, souvenirs and hiking gear. The women in their saris and shawls of rainbow shades, travellers in baggy pants or hiking boots and school children all shuffled along the footpathless streets with as tuk-tuks weaved in and out, and brave cars squeezed themselves down the roads that were not made for their girth.
Rooftop bars and restaurants provided shade during the day, and sparkled with fairy lights at night. We sat for hours eating our weight in buffalo momos and sipping Everest beer.
The food was perfection and the people so friendly and kind.
We spent a lot of time walking around Kathmandu. I was mesmerised by it all, and kept annoying S by stopping to take photo after photo. I wanted to walk around and take it in all day long.
One day, we walked to the famous Durbar Square. We had lunch in a rooftop restaurant overlooking the temples, watching the local teenagers sitting one of the temples as vendors sold them neon candy floss.
Today, the temple where the teenagers sat and ate candy floss is a pile of rubble. It is so sad to think that such an important landmark has been damaged so badly. You can see the photos of famous Nepalese landmarks that have been affected by the earthquake on the Guardian website.
Afterwards, we got caught in a heavy rain storm, and took shelter beneath an old building, admiring how ancient and beautiful the surrounding buildings were.
One extra hot day, we walked the streets for hours, making our way up to the Swayambhunath Temple, or the Monkey Temple. This walk was one of my favourite memories in Nepal, despite the dust in my throat and the sweat on my skin.
We reached the Monkey Temple where were spent hours wandering around, the traditional music in the air creating a feeling of tranquility.
We stared out at sprawling Kathmandu spread out below us, those prayer flags billowing in the hazy air.
As I sat taking in the scene of worshipers and tourists milling around, a man came and sat beside me. After a long talk, we followed him to his store, where we sat with him and his wife and listened to his stories about their life together.
After a while, we reluctantly made our way down the many stairs, and then made our downhill journey back to our guesthouse.
I always knew I would return to Nepal one day. Now, the need to go is greater than ever.
If you would like to help the people of Nepal rebuild their lives, please donate.