Short Documentary: Survivors’ Stories Amid Unimaginable Loss

Not that long ago on 25th April 2015, a massive 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal that claimed nearly 8000 lives and displaced estimated 200,000 people. After experiencing more than 150 aftershocks and several 5+ Richter scales tremors, people thought that dust had settled and started going back to their houses that were livable. People were trying to recover and come to the terms of unimaginable suffering and loss. However, the quake is just not done yet with the people of Nepal. Today, another massive 7.4-magnitude quake wrecked the country and knocked down several houses that resisted it for a time being.

Samaritan’s Purse volunteers on the ground filmed this short documentary to tell the survivors’ stories and shows the ways how we can extend our help.

Watching the destruction of the city of Kathmandu is even more so heartbreaking and gut-wrenching experience for us who grew up visiting these places that are shown in the documentary.

Kiran Chetry Pleas for Nepal Aid

Aerial Footage from Nepal Reveals Earthquake Devastation

The death toll in Nepal has risen beyond 3,700 after Saturday’s devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The worst earthquake the country has seen in 80 years devastated the capital of Kathmandu along with surrounding areas including the ancient city of Bhaktapur. Arial footage shows the impact across the region.

Source: Mashable

Master Stroke of Nature

I still  had my seatbelt on seated in my car on the parking lot of Meijer while I was typing this post on the cell phone. The engine was still on. Since it was raining, I was not so sure if I wanted to get off and run in the rain to get in the store. Suddenly I noticed this spectacular view on the windshield. It was interesting how rain transformed the view as such that a mesmerizing work of a painter. It looked as if he were stroking his large paintbrush on the palette and striking it on the canvas with oil colors. 

Downtown Grand Rapids: Art of the Collaborative City

There was a time when people knew or had heard the name of Detroit more than the state of Michigan. They would more likely not know if you were to tell them that you were living in Michigan, least Grand Rapids. Usually I tell people back home that I live in a small village called Grand Rapids. However, I started learning to love this city for what it is – beautiful city with a lot of creativity and unpredictable weather.  

Also, my three kids were born here.

Beer loving people have even more reason to like this city, as it is one of the prominent craft beer producing cities. As someone told me that if you were to meet new people or looking for new friends, pubs and bars that serve craft beer must be the ones to visit ;)

Unfortunately, that is not the place for me to go. It does not mean that there is no place in the city for people like me who don’t drink. You may go to great burger places, restaurants that serve ethnic cuisines like Lebanese, Jordanian, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Koreans. Grand Rapids is becoming a home to multi-ethnic and multicultural people.

What more? Grand Rapids is also #1 must visit city in 2015.

Also, take a look at this video!

I am an Interpreter

“Hi, I’m Satya, Nepali interpreter, from ___ (agency) for ___ am/pm appointment.”

This has become my regular introductory part every day since I became a freelancer. Having taken on different roles at different workplaces, I have seen and felt that my introduction and identity also has been taking a different form. There are places and people to whom I introduce myself as a pastor, husband, and father. For my livelihood for now, freelance interpreter and translator have been roles that bring income.

I came to the conclusion that merely being able to speak English does not necessarily mean all can interpret. Only few have that gift  can interpret as accurately as possible.

I have been interpreting for churches, courts, hospitals, and schools since 2009. Interpreting a sermon simultaneously once a month in Nepali for the senior pastor in the church that I worked for 3 years proved to be very challenging. I was the primary benefactor beneficiary, as it honed my interpretation skill as well as fed my spiritual needs. I, however, am not negating that other Nepali-Speaking people who were attending church those days were not benefiting from my service. This opened my eyes and helped me to see this profession from whole new perspective. It debunked the myth that I had for so many years that anyone can be an interpreter. I came to the conclusion that merely being able to speak English does not necessarily mean all can interpret. Only few have that gift thus can interpret as accurately as possible.

The Himalayas from 20,000 ft.

The aerial cinema experts at Teton Gravity Research release the first ultra HD footage of the Himalayas shot from above 20,000 ft. with the GSS C520 system, the most advanced gyro-stabilized camera system in the world. Filmed from a helicopter with a crew flying from Kathmandu at 4,600 ft. up to 24,000 ft. on supplemental oxygen, these are some of the most stable, crisp, clear aerial shots of these mountains ever released, which include Mt. Everest, Ama Dablam, and Lhotse.

Enthralled by the Adventure Around Manaslu

I was so much enthralled by the adventure that this one heartwarming video that I just wanted to go back home and live a simple life that does not demand driving on the freeway.  The video shows the trail around Manaslu mountain (8163m) in Nepal.

John Eldredge on Betrayal

Everyone has been betrayed by someone, some more profoundly than others. Betrayal is a violation that strikes at the core of our being; to make ourselves vulnerable and entrust our well-being to another, only to be harmed by those on whom our hopes were set is among the worst pain of the human experience. Sometimes the way God treats us feels like betrayal.

John Eldredge,  The Sacred Romance: Drawing Closer to the Heart of God

“New Year’s Song” by Over the Rhine

Folks back home are 10h 45m ahead of our time here in Michigan. As they wake up, it’s New Year 2015 for them. Some must already be wasting in liquor and making resolutions for new year. Anyway, I want to dedicate this song to my family and friends on the eve of year 2014 and new year 2015. Enjoy one of my wife’ favorite bands and now mine too, Over the Rhine.

“Here’s a little New Year’s song
Don’t worry it won’t take too long
Just a bit of New Year’s cheer
To say I’m glad you’re here

Little leftover Christmas tree
Just big enough for you and me
With just a single strand of lights
To tease the stars outside

And we thought perhaps we’d see some friends
But as the old year slowly ends
The dogs are dreaming in their beds
We might stay home instead

Here’s a little New Year’s song
Don’t worry it won’t take too long
Just a quiet New Year’s eve
There’s somethin’ up your sleeve

And I might gently take your wrist
Read your body like a Christmas list
The first night that the New Year brings
I wouldn’t wanna miss a thing

Let’s stay home and play old records
Our future’s bright our past is checkered
What do you say we lift a glass

Toast the ghost of another year past
Just a little New Year’s song
Happy New Year everyone
It came upon a midnight clear
Another brand new year

New mercy comes with every morning
The unexpected with no warning
For loved ones who’ve gone on before
Sing me Auld Lang Syne

New mercy comes with every morning
The unexpected with no warning
Let the dear ones you love know
You’ll miss them when you go”

…where East meets West


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