I had a long conversation via Skype today with one of the close friends in Kathmandu who will shepherd the money along. It was disheartening to hear how a widespread perception that politicians at the very top are trying to benefit personally from foreign aid is adding to the country's turmoil. This is backed up by news reports of desperate villagers waylaying supply trucks in order to try to secure basics - water, rice and rising tensions. As if things weren't bad enough with the deaths, injuries and wreckage.
The good news is that because the internet in parts of Kathmandu is back online, our transfers will now be completed. The second one will go out on Friday or Saturday, as soon as my other friend okays the method. I finally heard back from him today. His internet is intermittent, but he's almost ready. Everyone obviously has their hands full with the aftermath.
Originally I set the goal for the GoFund Me campaign at $5000, which was just a number I pulled out of the air. We raised $2355, which I think is fantastic. I can't begin to tell you how much this means to me, and how important every donation is.
GoFundMe was supposed to charge 8 percent, which would have made that $2166. For some reason known only to them, they decided to send $2152. The first transfer to Kathmandu was $1000, plus $40 to WU, so that was $1040 out of the $2152, so in this transfer I'll be sending the remainder, which will be more than $1000. I can't say exactly how much, because it depends on whether Western Union will give the same 50 percent discount they gave on the first go-around, and also, the Western Union fee goes up when the amount exceeds $1000, so I don't know exactly, but you get the idea. All that is left will go.
Thank you all. I can't tell you how much it means. The money will be placed directly in the hands of a few of the many, many people who are in desperate need. That's all we'll ever know, but as for me, it's enough.
I'm going to pull the GoFundMe campaign now. If anyone is still interested in donating, I would recommend the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust. They are responsible for quality building of historic monuments with special care to seismic engineering. They are known for channeling the highest amount of donations to the cause, and their expertise is going to be critical to getting Nepal back on its feet.
I'm a little under the weather and so I apologize for the brief update. I'll be on limited internet for a day or two.