This morning, while everyone back in London was still fast asleep, a little plane filled with British and Chinese tourists bound for the Himalayas, and staffed by Nepalese cabin crew, crashed mere minutes out of Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Still to be confirmed, the likely cause was the collision of the plane with a large bird, possibly an eagle. Moments later the plane caught fire and the pilot attempted an emergency landing in an open patch of land by the Manohara River, not far from a slum area on the outskirts of the city. But by the time it hit the ground locals could do nothing more than watch in horror as the plane burnt in front of them. Fire crews took some time to arrive on the scene, and no one could approach the plane in the meanwhile due to the heat coming off the blaze. Everyone on board died.
And that is really why I am here. Not because the name of the place sounds exotic and magical, not even because I love to travel and explore new places. I am here in the city to work with humanitarian and development organisations trying to sure up this mountainous country; trying to make it more resilient to the disasters which happen all too often here and with all too grim effects.