We made it to Kathmandu on time on Friday, though all the screening kit and our bags didn’t! The baggage hall was absolute chaos, we wish we’d filmed all the shouting people crowding around the carousel and the claims desk. Apparently all bags are late at the moment, the ongoing fuel crisis means that planes are carrying extra cargo and delaying passenger luggage instead. We were advised to return the next day at 4pm – there were huge stacks of bags everywhere, but happily found ours languishing in the back corner. Yay for clean clothes and double yay for being able to go ahead with our planned screenings!
With our kit safely stowed we headed off to Gary’s palatial accommodation to do our first test screening in the garden. After a bit of trial and error we managed to get it all up and running, so looks like we’re ready to start showing films to the children of Nepal. Well, almost ready – we’re still going through our film collection, trying to decide what will go down well with the kids. Shortlisted some features last night (wow, Bollywood films are so long!), this evening we’re concentrating on shorts. Then tomorrow is our first screening proper, on a football pitch in Naya Bazaar, in central Kathmandu.
We haven’t seen as much obvious earthquake damage as we’d expected (though we’ve only been here 36 hours in central Kathmandu) but the worsening fuel shortage is exacerbating the rebuilding efforts, this article in today’s Kathmandu Post confirms that the true costs of the earthquake go beyond physical damage.
Unicef Executive Director Anthony Kirsopp Lake has warned that a humanitarian crisis is looming for the children of Nepal. “The declining stocks of gas, food and medicines, together with the closure of schools due to political strife in the Tarai and shortages of fuel throughout the country, are not only inflicting damage to the lives of the children now—they threaten the future of the country itself,” Lake said.