Milan Karki is a trekking guide, currently living in Swoyambu, Kathmandu.
He had just arrived from a trekking trip when the earthquake hit. Almost a year after earthquake, we found him still living in a small tent in Swoyambu with three of his other friends.
“Renting a room in Kathmandu is too hard and expensive, I would rather just stay in the tent and save the rent money. Its not the season for trekking now. Tourist season starts at the end of April, I hope more people come. Tourism was so bad after the earthquake. People were scared to come because everybody thinks the situation is bad here. But really its no that bad. Life is hard but people just get on with it you know? But the tourists need to come because so many people like me depend on it for their living. Ive been working as a porter in Sitapaila for now, its also tough work and not as free and fun as trekking.”
When we returned to find Milan Karki for a follow up interview he was out of the Kathmandu valley, and his tent had been burned down, only a small pile of rags and broken poles was left. We found out that a man living nearby was responsible. He didn’t like that Milan and his friends were living for free on land that did not belong to him. We’ve been unable to contact Milan since.