An Interview with Craig Calonica
Nepal. The word brings to mind the beauty, might and majesty of some the highest mountains in the world including Sagarmatha or Mount Everest, where the people are gentle and hospitable and the strength and nobility of the Sherpa people is legendary.
Countless mountaineering careers have been solidified here and it still draws climbers and tourists like a magnet. We are drawn to Nepal, as if it were an old, familiar and faithful friend.
But today, Nepal is a nation devastated by earthquakes and avalanches, where thousands have lost their lives, where entire villages are nothing but piles of rubble and many have been wiped out completely.
Yet, within this sad chaos, there lies a glimmer of hope.
With more aftershocks being reported as of this writing (as confirmed by my friend and her family in Kathmandu yesterday), there are a number of dedicated individuals who are determined to help the good people of Nepal at all costs.
This interview focuses on how we can aid them in this noble cause.
I am fast-tracking this interview to publication so the message gets out quickly, so if you can kindly share this interview on your Facebook pages, Craig and other highly devoted individuals can bring much needed help to Nepal very quickly.Thank you so much! (Dhanyabaad.)
Editor: Thanks for your time, Craig. We’d like to ask you about the amazing work you have been doing in Nepal after the recent tragedy there.
Can you fill us in on how people are being assisted?
Craig Calonica: The day the earthquake hit Nepal, I was asked by an international rescue group to help them with logistics in Nepal. I flew out the next day and immediately began flying out injured and stranded people which included foreigners and Nepalis, to flying in food and doctors into remote regions, etc.
After I finished up with the international rescue group, I was contacted by a kind-hearted person who asked me what he could to help. I told him the best thing we could do was to fly food, tarps and other supplies out to the remote villages that haven’t received any help yet and won’t for quite some time due to the remoteness of the villages.
Without hesitation, he dove in and donated enough money to pay for 4 hours of flying time. At the same time, my good friend David Breashears made it back to town from Everest and joined me. After the initial 4 hours of flying time, we received more funds to fly for an additional 12 hours, which was great, as we were able to fly in a lot of food and supplies with this many hours. In total, we were able to fly in over 14.5 tons of food and supplies and flew out many wounded and stranded villagers young and old alike.
Editor: That is incredible, thank you so much. The road to recovery is long and arduous, but many climbers and foreign tourists have returned to Nepal in order to lend a hand in whatever way they can.
From what you have seen in person, and the monsoon rains so close, what do people need right now?
Craig Calonica: The people need shelter to protect them from the incoming monsoon rains, food and medical help, as the monsoon will create sanitation problems that will unleash a series of health issues.
Editor: How can readers help you in your efforts? Is there a way they can donate and get the help the people need quickly?
Craig Calonica: We have just created a non-profit cooperation with an international group called Doing Philanthropy. It is our plan to go back and help rebuild the remote villages in Nepal around mid-September, tax write off donations can be made here:
Thank you for all the tireless work and the countless hours you’ve put into helping the people of Nepal, Craig. We also thank your friend and Mr. David Breashears for being a big part of this tremendous effort with you.
With the good wishes and donations of our readers, we can all help Nepal rise again.
Please donate whatever you can, dear reader, as every little amount will go very far to those in desperate need.
Interview conducted by Vera Kaikobad L. Ac.
Editor of the Facebook Page: 'An Interview With'.
Editor-in-Chief of ClimbSkiBoulderMagazine.com
Interview © Vera Kaikobad.
"Can I see another's woe,
And not be in sorrow too?
Can I see another's grief,
And not seek for kind relief?"
- Another's Sorrow by William Blake
(1757 – 1827)
On the Cover:
Helping Nepal Rise
Cover Date: June 16th, 2015