Vow by Exmouth hiker to help Nepalese who saved his life

PUBLISHED: 11:12 01 July 2015

Brian Edwards

Brian Edwards

Archant

An Exmouth man has vowed to raise £42,000 for a Nepalese community which saved his life.

Nepal villageNepal village

Brian Edwards, 54, of Albion Street, was on a hiking holiday in the Kathmandu Valley rim on April 25, when an earthquake struck.

He says he was so thankful for his life, he spent six weeks helping local people, who had lost everything, to rebuild their lives.

And now that he has returned to England, he aims to raise money to help the community get back on its feet.

Brian told the Journal he was heading for the village of Langtang when he made what he thought was going to be a brief stop at the nearby community of Kanjin.

The locals urged him to stay an extra day – and it was while he was in his guesthouse room that the window started to rattle.

He said: “The whole house started to shake. I got outside and the wall in front dropped into the field below.

“I could hear many people crying and praying.”

Over the next three days, Brian and other westerners began to learn of the devastation in the next valley, where he was originally headed.

“The path I had planned to take was under a 1,000-metre-deep landslide,” he said.

“I started to realise how lucky I was to be alive, as the whole of Langtang village was covered in an avalanche.” In total, 187 villagers lost their lives and 400 trekkers were in the valley.

“I was feeling so blessed not to have lost my life - and so grateful that the villagers in Kanjin had persuaded me to stay. I was so touched by their plight, I made a decision to stay and offer my help.”

Over the next six weeks, he escorted herds of cows to their summer pastures at an altitude of 3,000 metres and rebuilt the village’s cowsheds.

He added: “Leaving Kathmandu was very distressing and I hope to raise money to support these people in this time of need and ask whoever can to help to contribute. It is the least I can do.”

● Go to www.facebook.com/brainedwards7737 and www.crowdfunding.justgiving.com/kam


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