Hayley Saul and Emma Waterton were doing anthropological field work in the Langtang valley in Nepal when the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit on April 25 this year, killing more than 9,000 people.
At the time of the quake, they were with several local guides from the village of Langtang, now dubbed “the worst affected” area in Nepal. Saul and Waterton were recording local oral histories. They were interested in how these local stories were written into the Himalayan landscape.
It was their guides’ knowledge of the landscape, their humble acts of bravery and kindness that saved Saul and Waterton’s lives many times over two tough days, and enabled them to reach safety.
Saul and Waterton would witness many acts of courage and heroism after the earthquake, which was often not reported by the overseas media that tended to focus on the quake’s impact on tourists and climbers on Everest.
Dallas Rogers spoke to them about their research in Nepal, the earthquake, their rescue over two days, and the everyday Nepalese hero.
Since returning to Australia, Saul and Waterton have been fundraising to assist the displaced villagers of Langtang in collaboration with Community Action Nepal. You can read about their story and find out more about their relief efforts here: Langtang Survivors.
Additional news audio: BBC News, ABC News, CBS News.