Dear friends, My uncle Colonel Andrew Mills, a recently retired colonel in the British army, worked in Nepal with the Gurkha soldiers between 2009-2013. The Gurkha’s have played a very important role in our own British army for 200 years and many of their lives and communities have been devastated by the recent earthquake. During my uncle's 4 years in Nepal, he worked as part of the defence attache, as the Commander of the British Gurkhas Nepal and laterally as the director of the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, providing support to the needy ex-Gurkas, their families and their communities. My uncle now has many friends and colleagues in Nepal. Their stories of loss and devastation since the earthquake are heart breaking. I want to share with you an email sent to our family from my uncle yesterday which includes some of these accounts from his friends who have lost loved ones, their houses and their school. (see below). The accounts of his colleagues and friends make clear their drastic need to rebuild their lives. So we've felt we needed to do something a short notice to help them out...what could more drastic than taking on a 200 mile cycle (we're totally unprepared...Stewart still has to buy a bike!) at as short notice as THIS SATURDAY (!!). On Friday night we're going to take the train to the last stop on the west coast (Mallaig), stay the night and then cycle home to Dundee in the morning...and afternoon....and evening....and probably following morning… If, after reading my uncle’s email, you would like to sponsor our cycle to help these people re-build their lives, my uncle could get your donation to their community directly through the local account of the Secretary of the School Committee 'Sujan Ghale '. Sujan would distribute the money evenly between the community's families to rebuild their homes and their school. Donations through my uncle would avoid the fees taken for overhead costs by many charities. We aim to raise £2000- the cost of one house. Of course however, if we were able to raise more- they could do more! Please read the email below and any donation- large or small- would be so hugely appreciated and would help to spur on our weary legs on the long road back to Dundee... With thanks, love and huge appreciation, Ginny and Stewart ...(and possibly others? Any takers?.. ;) xxx Email from my uncle: Dear family, Many of you have asked how my friends are doing in Nepal. Fortunately, they seem to have survived, but they are all worried about their home villages where they have llost relatives and property. It's difficult in the villages, because most of the young men have to work away or even overseas to send money home; so those who remain are mostly the old, mothers and children… Here's some of their updates: 1. Major Hukum Raj Thapa - Retired Gurkha living in Pokhara. "I had just got off my vehicle in downtown Pokhara when I heard the nasty roaring noise. It took few minutes to realize that it was earthquake. I then joined quickly with the rest of the people to an open area. The buildings and the surface started to sway. I could see my Scorpio jeep swaying like a small boat in the rough sea. Some roof top water tanks/pipes started leaking and water gushed out on the street. I was really frightened. I tried to dial home but my trembling fingers on unstable surface I could not tap the keyboard of the cell phone. Pokhara and whole of Nepal rattled for 2 mins quite severely at 12noon today followed by several aftershocks. It is understood that 7.5 scale quake was centered in Lamjung and Gorkha Districts. Later we heard that houses in Barpak and Laprak villages in Gokha are leveled to rubble. Pokhara town was safe but the rural villages are somewhat affected. Kathmandu was hit badly where the Dharhara, Durbar High School the oldest opposite RaniPokhari, some famous old temples are completely ruined. Phones and televisions are out and working intermittently only. For safety reason the electricity supply is cut off. It is believed that this one was the biggest since the 1933 (1990 BS) earthquake,The risk of more shocks was inevitable as we felt the 18th one after 6 hours of the main 7.5 jolt. Hope it stops now so that we can sleep in peace. I think it will take few more days to assess the extent of the damages nationwide." 2. Bhakta Tamang - My Number One porter. "Our village (Ree, Gurkha District) is totally destroyed. There is not remaining any houses. There is lack of everything like wise food water and shelter. People are gifting difficulty in living.So one time I have to go to my village. would you like to help us? We're in problem. I hope u will understand our problem. Stay strong, Bhakta." 3. Shyam Tamang - My Number Two porter. "My village (Ree, Gurkha Distirct) is completely destroyed; not a house remains. My sister was killed. All the people are living in the jungle like animals, with no shelter. No helicopters have come to the village yet. But, today it is not raining and we will be alright. I might have to stay working in Malaysia forever to pay to rebuild the home …. there is nothing to return to" 4. Baikuntha - My Chef. "My Dear Sahab, NAMASTE as you know. this is very bad and critical time we having in nepal. we lost everything in my village except human. my parents leave in village with my aunt which has not got husband. which we save to eat at home everything has collapsed (see photo) . we need somebody helps . government is saying we will help but we don;t beleave them. it has nearly one week still we have not got anythings from government.. even one tent. it is starting monsoon and it started rain. no food , no clothes .. so misriable life they are having .. yes there are many charities from abroad this fond goes to carrupt people . it will be very important help for us if you do something for my family to save them. your small help makes us very different and valuable .you have relatives friends who are interested to help in Nepal please could you tell them about us .. if they are interested to help us Deshant (disabled son) needs spacial care. he is not able to do everythigs . i have to pay more money for his school . so difficult .The sponsor family has stopped paying Deshant's school fee. i don't know why. In another hand i fill unlucky in the world. . Sahab i am expecting your help .. thank you. Baikuntha" 5. Sujan Ghale. "All the immediate family in Kathmandu are ok; but I am really worried about my home village (Linjho, N Dhading District). I hear that all the buildings are collapsed; but fortunately my parents are OK as they were with the goat. I lost a cousin-brother. Now everybody is sitting on the micro hydro scheme roof (concrete), in the rain, hoping that a helicopter will come". "The children at Skylark College are ok, but they are all living in the open under tarpaulins for now". "There is nothing in the village, and nobody has given us any help. The school is destroyed. If you can, please help Linjho from your friends and community. Please collect for school build."