From the darkness of disaster, a light of hope for one girl in Nepal

Kathmandu, Nepal( CNN) On this hot April day in the Nepalese capital, Maya Gurung wears pitch-black close-fisteds under a striped knee-length dress. She is trying not to be conspicuous, but other details present her away.

At 4 feet 10 inches, she towers over classmates barely out of toddler stagecoach. At lunch, she is the only one who doesn’t requirement a bib. And all the other children entitle her Maya didi, exploiting the Nepali term of respect for an older sister.

Maya will be 11 soon and only recently stimulated it to kindergarten. Still, it is a triumph she has come this far.

Maya is not from this bustling metropolitan, which lures mountaineers aiming for Everest and sightseers magnetized by the Himalayan kingdom’s rich history and culture. She comes from a remote and rugged home not frequented by outsiders.

She is one of six children placed in their own families that lives off the land and cattle in Kashi Gaon, village representatives in Nepal’s rocky Gorkha District. Maya facilitated her mother with fix, cleanup and retrieving firewood and ocean. She was destined to be married at a tender age and grow old within the confines of her birthplace.

She knew little of the world outside. Life’s prospects escaped her.

But a year ago, on April 25, the earth sway violently for a minute, and in those 60 destroying seconds, Maya’s life was forever changed.

Her left leg was suppressed and had not been able be saved.

Several days later, two seconds shock clanged Nepal, bringing down more structures, aiming more lives. On that day, Maya’s trajectory changed again, but in a way no one could have predicted.

The second earthquake established her a rare second hazard at life in a society ruined by nature’s cruelty.


Nearly 9,000 people died in Nepal in the 7.8 magnitude shake and the 7.3 aftershock; millions of lives were smashed. Recovery has been so slow that some people here say their country will never be the same. Centuries-old builds and tabernacles lie cracked or in ruins, like festering national wounds. In many areas, the rubble continues. Thousands live under makeshift shelters fad fromplastic, bamboo and corrugated tin. Maya might have been one of them.

I first matched her just days after the first tremorin the Kathmandu hospital where her leg was amputated. She was confined to a couch; thick bandages plowed her fresh meander. I saw her several times and when I left, I carried with me an image of a frightened little girl, traumatized and roaring in pain.

A year later, I returned to the Nepalese capital to hear if anything good had blossomed from the horror.

A new beginning

I arrive at a large house on the outskirts of the city, eager to speak with Maya.

My first glimpse of her on this excursion is enormously different. She is sitting on a sunny hall, amid flowerpots of pink geraniums and pinwheel petunias. The plot is luxuriant with blooms and organically produced veggies.

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