For 38 days these eyes looked down at me in Room 5 at Peace Eye Guesthouse in Pokhara. Each morning they greeted me - full of sunlight and optimism - as I set out for another day of adventure in Nepal. The night after the earthquake in my dark room unable to sleep, they glowed full of hall light above my door, offering warmth during the aftershocks. After my accident as I sat on the floor of my room with my leg in a cast and eyes full of tears, they spoke to me: 'Everything is going to be okay'. And in the days that followed, each time they blinked, someone wonderful would appear at my door. Like Vincent from Holland with his guitar to play for me. Like Seema from Cornwall with her gently hugs. Like Travis and Severine with cake and company. Like Devendra from my guesthouse with crutches for me and a smile ("I got them for local price not tourist price. Good for you, yes?"). Like Didi from the kitchen downstairs with bowls of banana porridge (when I cried with gratitude one morning she said simply, "You are my sister"). Like Jordan from California with news to report from the outside world. Like my ayurveda doctor with a bag full of herbal medicine and a calm hand to place on my forehead ("We will make sure you get home safely. I am busy now volunteering in the villages but I will make time to come and see you to check that you are okay. Don't worry yourself too much").
This morning, waking in my parent's apartment in Sydney, I looked up at the space above my bedroom door expecting to see those wise eyes but they were not there. I still can't quite believe all that has happened in the past two weeks...and that I had to leave Nepal. It upsets me greatly that I am unable to assist with relief efforts and I feel guilty that I could 'get out' when thousands remain trapped inside the tragedy that is the aftermath of the earthquake. To those who helped me during a very challenging time - thank you, thank you, thank you. To those I left behind, my eyes and limbs may no longer be in Nepal but my heart remains in the Himalayas.