I put an SD card into my camera and it was full of photos from Nepal. Here’s one (there are others in old posts if you search ‘Nepal’). I think it is from Bhaktapur in the Kathmandu Valley.
Nepal is poor. It’s exotic, but it is poor. I got a taxi from the airport to Boudhanath, which is now a suburb of Kathmandu. Driving through Kathmandu to get there, the grit and the fumes from vehicles were bad.
The earthquake occurred on 25 April 2015. Nearly nine thousand people died and twenty-two thousand people were injured.
It wasn’t so much the earthquake that put the gritty dust into the air, however, it was the rebuilding.
Every building that was damaged had valuable bricks that could be reclaimed. To reclaim the bricks, the workers hacked off the old mortar, which was poor quality and collapsed into the gritty dust.
Even four years later (when I visited) it filled every corner.
Then there’s the damage to the lungs of people breathing it in day after day.
I bought a filtration mask before I left England and still I could taste the grit with every breath in.
The man in the photo is holding the back of his hand up against his mouth, probably coughing.